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2 members of Hobbs' Water Policy Council quit, say farmers and rural residents have little voice

By Bridget Dowd
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 6:55am
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2023 - 8:47am

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Two key members of Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs' Water Policy Council have quit.

They say they can’t support the way the council is pushing ahead to regulate agricultural use.

Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse said the council majority is not allowing farmers and rural residents to have a voice in how local water conservation districts are formed and governed.

Instead, she said the council is giving the key authority to the state Department of Water Resources.

"So at some point, as a participant, I have to ask myself, 'Am I getting anything accomplished for the people that I'm here for?'" she said.

Republican state Senator Sine Kerr, a dairy farmer from Buckeye, also quit. She said the council "is nothing more than a forum to rubber stamp the progressive environmental goals of special interest groups."

The resignations won’t stop the work of the council, but could make it difficult to get a majority of lawmakers to approve what the remaining members recommend.

Sine Kerr
Arizona Senate Republicans
Sine Kerr is a Republican state senator who represents District 13.

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