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Senate Passes Latest WAWS Bailout; Admits Failure

Senate fast-tracked bill out of committee and to the floor, passed with a 47-0 vote.

On Tuesday, the North Dakota State Senate passed SB 2196 which is the latest bailout bill for the Western Area Water Supply.

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This was fast-tracked out of committee the day testimony was taken.

The noteworthy speech on the Senate floor was that of Senator Ron Sorvaag pointing out that the legislature forgave $74 million worth of WAWS loans last session, and he also admitted that the entire Industrial Water Sales model has failed.

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I like to give credit when our elected officials speak the truth.

One interesting detail in Senate Bil 2196 is the fact the Western Area Water Supply oversight will now be done by the State Water Commission rather than the Industrial Commission.

Back in the 2015 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 2336 tried to do just that. We supported that bill at that time.

That bill passed the Senate 35-11 but was defeated in the House 12-78.

At that time, the State Water Commission basically said they didn’t want to be involved with WAWS.

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Dustin Gawrylow