'No' on Referred Question 1 | Arkansas Blog

'No' on Referred Question 1

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I see the Wildlife Federation has scheduled a news conference tomorrow. I presume it will be to re-emphasize its opposition to Referred Question 1, the $300 million general obligation state bond issue.

The Wildlife Federation has ample reason to believe the bonding authority will be skewed heavily in favor of wildlife-unfriendly farm irrigation projects. But there's concern, too, about the measure's broad eminent domain powers. This will allow a state agency to seize land and water.

The news story today listing two major gas exploration companies as major financial backers of this proposal should give voters pause. The gas drillers need water, lots of it. They also dispose lots of dirty water on land and in pits, already in ways that have eluded the state's ability to carefully regulate. This is the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission's idea of "soil and water conservation."

The Wildlife Federation has reasons aplenty -- not only the potential $300 million lick on taxpayers if user fees to pay off the bonds don't materialize as envisioned -- to say VOTE NO ON REFERRED QUESTION 1.


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