Friday, June 02, 2023

MLIRD funding bill signed

Staff Report | May 15, 2023 2:58 PM

OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by state Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, and supported in the house by Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, and intended to establish funding for the Moses Lake Irrigation and Rehabilitation District was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday.

“Getting things right takes hard work, and I'm thankful to all the stakeholders and my colleagues who helped pass this law so that our community and more sustainably and transparently operate this unique district,” said Warnick in a joint press release from her office and Dent’s.

Funding methods for the district had been challenged in court and this bill is intended to fix those issues. The law, as described in Senate Bill 5460, adjusts for calculation problems with assessments to keep them in line with state constitutional requirements.

Irrigation districts that meet certain requirements can become irrigation and rehabilitation districts, with the purpose of bolstering irrigation systems and improving shoreline health, according to the press release. The MLIRD was founded in 1928 to provide irrigation after being granted a water right. Now, the district’s purpose has grown to protect Moses Lake – the body of water – as a social, economic and environmental resource for the community and state.

“This legislation is necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents in Moses Lake. This puts the district back to work so they can do the job they were intended,” Dent said.

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