Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Legislature adjourned in July. Interim is a good time to dig in to policy issues in preparation for the next legislative session. One of the main policy issues I have received questions about is the state Supreme Court’s ruling known as the Hirst decision. Many of you have asked what the status is for rural property owners. In this email update, I will dive into this policy issue.
Just a little over a year ago, the Hirst decision was implemented, preventing people across our state, especially in our rural areas, from drilling wells on their private property. This has threatened property values, destroyed dreams, and created uncertainty for families. Eastern Washington is feeling the dire effects of this ruling.
The Hirst decision is already having catastrophic effects for property owners. As rural landowners, we presume that when we have a piece of property, we also have the right to the water under that property to use to develop our homes or to manage whatever livestock we have on our land. To have an entire body of water law overturned is shocking.
It is part of our DNA as Americans that we can settle on our own land, build our homes, and live our lives. It is part of the American promise. To have that right taken away from us by a single court decision is just beyond my imagination.
Recently, I had the honor to be a guest on the Todd Herman Show to discuss the Hirst decision and its impact. I would like to thank Todd, his show, and all of his listeners for the opportunity to keep the dialogue going on this critical issue. We won’t be silent until the right solution is put into place. I will continue to fight for rural Washington, and everyone in this state affected by this horrendous court decision.
It is time to change the functional dynamics of the Legislature. As lawmakers, we are spending too much time working on cases brought to us by the court.
The autumn chill is in the air. Have a great planting season, and may your fertilizer trucks arrive on time!
It’s an honor to serve as your state representative.