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At Olympia meetings: Republicans still say no

Hirst Bill drilling into budget talks

— Moses Lake Republican State Senator Judy Warnick said meetings yesterday to deal with the Hirst Bill and the state’s capital budget went well, but there was no movement on either the bill or the budget.

“What went well is that we talked to each other, and we plan to keep talking,” Warnick said.

She added that if the two sides ever come to agreement on the bill, the Republicans will be ready to return to Olympia for another special session of the Legislature.

There were two meetings that Warnick organized. There was a morning gathering with tribal leaders from around the state.

“I wanted to hear what they are willing to accept in the bill,” Warnick said.

Warnick is chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development Committee. The Senate has voted in favor, four times, of her bill to undo the Supreme Court’s Hirst decision late last year.

Republicans say that decision has shut down the ability for people who want a rural life to drill wells for home consumption. They’ve tied the passage of a House bill to passage of the capital budget.

The second meeting included the governor’s office, the Department of Ecology and House and Senate Republicans and Democrats.

Warnick said they agreed to go back and review what each side was saying about these issues in June and then talk again. But the Republicans didn’t budge yesterday.

“They asked if there was any way we could pass the capital budget without passing the bill, and we said no,” Warnick said.

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