Hobbs vetoes proposal to resume Scottsdale water services to Rio Verde

About 750 families in an unincorporated community near Scottsdale will continue to struggle without water for months after Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed a bill to temporarily fix the problem. become.

Residents of the Rio Verde foothills have been without water since January, when the city of Scottsdale cut off residents’ access to the city’s water supply, and the city has repeatedly warned Rio Verde residents of what might happen.

After months of congressional work to craft legislation to help Rio Verde residents, Republicans in Congress voted on May 15 to restore water service to Scottsdale until a more permanent solution is reached. passed House Bill 2441 to mandate.

Hobbes on Monday vetoed the bill, calling it a “piecemeal and short-term” proposal and criticizing it for being passed without an emergency clause that takes effect immediately.

In his letter vetoing the bill, Mr Hobbes wrote: “This bill does not provide an immediate solution. It passed without an emergency clause on the eve of a month’s recess, and will only cause further delays. ‘ said.

Congressman Gail Griffin, Republican, Hereford

The bill was introduced by Congressman Gail Griffin (R-Hereford) and was one of the last bills to be considered by Congressmen during the debate. marathon floor session There, lawmakers voted on nearly 100 bills. The Senate and Senate will not reconvene until June 12, as lawmakers continue to negotiate other important policies, including the continuation of the Maricopa County Transportation Sales Tax.

Mr. Griffin’s bill wasn’t the only one the Rio Verde bill members were considering. another suggestion With greater bipartisan support from Rep. Alexander Collodin (Republican, Scottsdale), it passed the House on May 10 with an emergency clause, with more than two-thirds of the House voting “yes.” voted. Only five Democrats in the House voted “yes” for Griffin’s bill.

Corodin’s solution would have the City of Scottsdale enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Maricopa County, making Maricopa County responsible for supplying water to Rio Verde. Hobbes has indicated he supports Corrodin’s bill and asked Congress to introduce the bill by June 12.

But Republicans prefer Griffin’s bill, which includes Collodin. He initially tried to implement Mr. Griffin’s proposal, but he said he failed to get the Democratic votes needed to pass the emergency clause. The Senate did not schedule a vote on the Corodin bill, despite a proposal by Republican Rep. David Cook to pass both bills and ensure that the residents of Rio Verde have a solution.

Senator John Kavanagh (Republican, Fountain Hills) said he hopes the Senate will consider the Corrodin bill because of the partisan divide over the Griffin bill after the Senate passed it. Mr. Kavanagh will represent Rio Verde and Scottsdale, along with Mr. Corodin and Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale).

Unless the Senate makes a decision by June 12, at least until then, Rio Verde residents will have to wait until legislative remedies are tried again. Rio Verde resident Meredith DeAngelis said the wait is too long with wildfire season approaching.

DeAngelis said of Hobbes’ veto, “I thought she would have arranged something else to give us water right away.” She “felt the 2441 was the fastest and cleanest.”

During the House vote on Griffin’s bill, Cook said Hobbes could declare a state of emergency and allow water to flow into the region through administrative action. Mr. Corodin had already tried to intervene administratively on the issue early in parliament, but was rejected, and as a result sought to solve the problem through legislation.

Canadian utility EPCOR is proposing a permanent solution that uses Scottsdale infrastructure to supply water to Rio Verde. The plan is being considered by the State Enterprises Commission.

Ms DeAngelis also said she and other Rio Verde residents were concerned about Mr Corodin’s bill and how long it would take to develop an intergovernmental agreement. More than 500 residents of Rio Verde supported Griffin’s bill.

With no wells, Rio Verde residents rely on others for water, and many are reducing their water usage. He said he would have to rely on trucks.

The City of Scottsdale has asked the governor to veto the bill. In a May 16 letter sent to Hobbes, city officials said Griffin’s bill would force the city to violate state-mandated drought management plans. The city also shared the concerns of Democrats and Hobbes that the bill did not address the “wildcat lots” created by the subdivisions.

“Such measures only serve to encourage such activity. They are therefore undermining statewide drought control efforts and encouraging poor water policies,” Scottsdale wrote. is stated.


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