This is the April 15th Montana Miracle. Those who backed the Compact won an intense procedural battle today that resulted in needing only 51 votes to pass the Compact on the second reading. We await the final vote on the third reading. – Ed
by Shelby DeMars
(Helena, Mont.)—After hours of debate, the CSKT Water Compact passed 2nd reading in the Montana House of Representatives. Those supporting the Compact included 12 Republicans and 41 Democrats. The vote on the bill can be viewed here.
The Compact, SB 262, survived repeated attempts by opponents to kill the measure both in the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor through amendments that would have upended the agreement that took decades of negotiations to achieve.
However, the bill was able to overcome these attempts through the broad based and bipartisan support for the Compact across the state.
“The support we saw for this bill throughout the process was incredible,”
cited bill sponsor and Chair of the Water Policy Interim Committee, Senator Chas Vincent.
“The Compact has support from both sides of the aisle, farmers, ranchers, irrigators, and business owners from across the state. Thanks to the work of all of the Compact supporters throughout this process, the water rights of Montanans in every corner of our state will be protected for future generations.”
The legislators who stood against the attempts made by Compact opponents to waylay the bill were those who had taken the time to read and understand the bill and the benefits that passing the agreement would have for Montana. Farmers and Ranchers for Montana (FARM) a grassroots organization of over 600 farmers, ranchers, irrigators and water users from across the state, commended those legislators who voted in favor of the CSKT Water Compact.
“Those who voted to pass the Compact have exemplified what it means to truly represent and work for the people of Montana,”
said Farmers And Ranchers for Montana (FARM) spokesperson Shelby DeMars.
“Passing the Compact was crucial to protect the water resources of our state. The legislators who supported the Compact should be commended for the extensive work they have done on behalf of their constituents and water users across the state.”
The Compact will be voted on by the entire House of Representatives on 3rd reading within the next few days and then sent to Governor Bullock to sign.
Farmers And Ranchers for Montana (FARM) is a coalition of hundred of farmers and ranchers, united with local leaders, tribal governments, businesses, water-users, and other Montanans who support the approval of a Water Compact.
For more information please visit www.montanawatercompact.com