Water, recent bills discussed at Pinal Partnership breakfast moderated by Court Rich, co-founder and director of Rose Law Group’s renewable energy & utility infrastructure department

By Pinal Central

ELOY — Recent water legislation was addressed Friday morning by a Pinal Partnership panel at Robson Ranch.

The panel included state Rep. David Cook, R-Globe; Rep. Keith Seaman, D-Coolidge; Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland and Vice President of Water Resources for Arizona Water Company Terri Sue Rossi. Topics included water legislation, transportation, affordable housing and infrastructure.

Court Rich, Rose Law Group co-founder and director of renewable energy & utility infrastructure

Discussion moderator Court Rich asked Seaman about the close of the legislative session last week and what were the key takeaways regarding legislation. Seaman told the audience that the budget came out pretty well.

“We’re in a revenue shortage, but both sides of the aisle were able to get a pretty fair budget,” he said. “There were some things obviously we’d like to have gotten, but I think it was pretty bipartisan when we left.”

Seaman said he was disappointed for Maricopa that project funding for State Route 347 had been cut but was upbeat about spending allocated to education.

“I guess the biggest thing I have to say … we didn’t get what we needed for 347,” said Seaman. “At least the money’s still there and hopefully we will be able to claw that back again in the next couple of years. That’s always difficult to do because it’s so expensive and there’s so many things you have to do on the budget.”

“I think on our education funding we got some more of that and some good things up.”

Cook expressed frustration at the budget and said he was concerned with specific details that were not instantly apparent and questioned the impact the budget would have on rural hospitals and health care.

“The one thing that I think that we’re going to realize as we look back after this budget has been passed and this session is over is that it’s what we don’t see and what you don’t know,” said Cook, who described the budget as being full of “gimmicks and accounting” that did “nothing but push them down the road.”


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June 2024