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End of Session Debrief

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

The 2021-2022 legislative session came to a close at midnight July 31... a midnight that lasted all the way until after 10 a.m. on August 1 when legislators finally gaveled out.

First - THANK YOU.

To our organizations, supporters, and friends - you spoke up for rivers this session in legislative hearings, at lobby days, on social media, amongst friends, in emails to your Senators. Your stories were powerful and made a difference - it's amazing when I approach a legislator about a bill, and they say "Yes, we know about that one, we keep hearing about it from constituents."

We are so grateful for your continued support and passion for the Commonwealth's environment.

Here's where our priorities landed.

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Drought Bill

Invasive Species Bill State Budget

What about that federal money?


Drought Bill

Over the weekend, the drought bill, S.530, did not move out of Senate Ways & Means, meaning it won't pass this year, despite the severe drought conditions happening on the ground right now. This is not the outcome we wanted - nor the one our rivers need.

Together, we did make some good progress on drought this session:

  • The bill moved out of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture for the first time.

  • We educated a new batch of legislators and Senate Ways & Means members on the bill, setting the foundation for next session.

  • We generated a ton of press on the impacts of drought and raised public awareness. See a sample of articles >>

So: where do we go from here? We plan to refile this bill in January (we've already got a new champion in the House lined up!) to a legislature that's already primed on the issue.

We're also watching DEP's proposed regulations on conditioning water registrations, which would impose water conservation restrictions on large water withdrawals that previously had none. It doesn't have exactly the same scope as the bill, but nonetheless would improve water conservation during drought. Stay tuned for those updates