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Minutes for SB48 - Committee on Agriculture

Short Title

Remedies for the impairment of a valid water right or permit to divert and use water.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 14, 2017

Chair Hoffman opened the hearing on SB48 at 3:36pm.

Kyle Hamilton, Assistant Revisor, Office of The Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview of SB48 and the statutes that it affects. He explained the changes made in the Senate.  (Attachment 1)

Susan Metzger, Assistant Secretary, Kansas Department of Agriculture (KSDA), appeared before the Committee in support of SB48. She reviewed the amendments made in the Senate.  KSDA supports SB48, including the amendments proposed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill reflects a collaboratively developed alternative to the water right impairment investigation and remedy process.   (Attachment 2)

Kent Askren, Director of Public Policy, Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB), appeared before the Committee in support of SB48.  The Chief Engineer has the experience and resources to expeditiously investigate and administer impairment complaints. This bill streamlines impairment investigations so that the administrative remedies are utilized first and the courts serve as a backstop to guarantee equitable enforcement.  KFB supports SB48 as amended.  (Attachment 3)

Aaron M. Popelka, Vice President of Legal & Governmental Affairs, Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), appeared before the Committee in support of SB48.  KLA believes that this is a common sense approach to resolving disputes among water rights holders, while preserving senior rights priority and providing due process to the junior rights owners.  The language in the original bill and amendments are similar to those this Committee made to HB2099(Attachment 4)

Written testimony in support of SB48 was received from:

There were no opponents/neutrals of SB48.

The hearing on SB48 was closed at 3:43pm.