Spring 2013 Legislative Update

By Deb Swackhamer

‘Tis the season of hurry-up-and-wait. We have been allocated half of our fiscal year 2013 funds, but the other half are on hold pending a budget agreement or continuing resolution for the remainder of the year. And yes, the remainder will likely be affected by the “sequester”, and in ways we do not yet know. We have not seen the fiscal year 2014 budget…

At the state level, we have just passed the deadline for passing bills out of their originating committee – now the scramble is on for deal making and amendments, and passing them through the committee daisy chain to the floors of the House and Senate. Current bills related to water resources include the Clean Water Fund appropriations bill, a bill on TMDL accountability, a bill banning triclosan in products in Minnesota (a water pollutant), and the agriculture bill which also includes provisions and funds for the Agriculture Water Quality Certification program.

Bottom line, stay tuned until June!