Montana lawmakers specializing in water policy will continue their work on the Water Court's future. The Water Policy Interim Committee will discuss the court and other topics in three, 2-hour zoom sessions held May 18-19.
The WPIC's May meeting continues its work on House Joint Resolution 14, a study of the future of the Water Court. The May agenda examines various proposals made to the committee, including:
- Water Court administration of decrees;
- Supervision of water commissioners enforcing water rights;
- Water Court jurisdiction over ditch easements and irrigation district boundaries; and
- District Court workloads.
The meeting will also cover other aspects of water policy, such as new benchmarks for completing the state's adjudication of historic (pre-1973) water rights claims and improvements to the water rights ownership updates process.
The meetings will begin at 9 a.m. May 18, 1 p.m. May 18, and 9 a.m. May 19. These meetings are accessible to the public. The meetings will be streamed live on www.leg.mt.gov and broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN). An archived recording of the meeting will also be made immediately available on www.leg.mt.gov.
To participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and a request, and staff will send instructions for joining and participating in the meeting by 5 p.m. the day before the call. Written comments may be emailed to staff and forwarded to the committee. Additional information on joining these meetings will be provided on the committee website, www.leg.mt.gov/water, and on the committee agenda.
The WPIC is led by Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman, chairman, and Sen. Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon, vice-chairman. Other members of the committee are: Sen. Jill Cohenour (D-E. Helena), Sen. Bruce “Butch” Gillespie (R-Ethridge), Sen. Jon Sesso (D-Butte), Rep. Bob Brown (R-Thompson Falls), Rep. Carl Glimm (R-Kila), Rep. Bradley Maxon Hamlett (D-Cascade), Rep. Shane Morigeau (D-Missoula), and Rep. Walt Sales (R-Manhattan).