Legislature passes $4B construction budget, water-rights bill

By Walker Orenstein / The News Tribune

January 18, 2018  -  State lawmakers late Thursday approved a $4.3 billion construction budget and legislation to address a rural water-rights debate that had stalled the spending plan since the spring of 2017.

Party leaders announced a compromise Thursday morning to address a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling on water conservation, known as the Hirst decision. The Hirst order increased counties’ responsibilities for regulating the drilling of small wells. That shift left some property owners without water or unable to build on their land... Click Legislature Passes Budget.