Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Legislative Preview: Public Trust

Representative Kay McIff has introduced House Bill 47 (HB 47), entitled "Protection of Water Rights."  This bill seeks to define the scope and limits of the public trust doctrine in Utah, including a provision that to the extent a State public trust obligation exists relative to public ownership of water, the State fulfills its public trust obligation through legislative enactments of laws regulating the use of water. The bill also clarifies that a water right is a property right that is protected by the Utah Constitution, and cannot be taken for public use without just compensation.  This bill is nearly identical to House Bill 233 that Representative McIff ran in 2014 and House Bill 68 that Representative McIff ran in 2013.

To read the full text of the bill as introduced, click here.

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