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House speaker’s water bill likely dead this year

House Speaker Andy Tobin (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

House speaker Andy Tobin has set up a special committee to try to address problems that have derailed a water bill he’s crafted to deal with shortfalls across the state.

Tobin says the bill is likely dead this session and he’ll rely on the four-member committee to fix the problems.

The four lawmakers will work former Arizona Department of Water Resources director with Herb Guenther to come up with a new bill. Guenther said Thursday the committee will begin public meetings in May and aim for a September finish.

Tobin crafted the bill creating new “water augmentation authorities” after a two-year study.

It ran into a buzz saw of opposition from ranchers and Yuma-area farmers. They worried it targeted their Colorado River water and the authorities had no oversight.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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