House Bill 1188, the controversial proposal to allow rafting companies to cross through private property on historically established routes, is now in committee of the state Senate. (Read a February OTE post on it here). According to this Summit Daily News story, its chances of making it into law are slim, at least in part due to a small army of lobbyists fighting against the measure.
Apparently, the property-rights hardliners are pumping a ton of money into the discussion. From Julie Sutor's SDN story:
"I'm hearing many rumors coming from the Senate that they're not going to get that bill out of committee," said state Rep. Christine Scanlan, bill co-sponsor. "I know they have upwards of 19 lobbyists working against the bill, which is kind of unbelievable."
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The story goes on to quote Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, who says private-property rights aren't what's being trampled:
"It comes down to privatizing your rivers and whether the public has a right to float. If there's a taking here, it's the public that's being taken from."
But as the commenter on the previous OTE post pointed out, this argument isn't necessarily about you and me: Private paddlers aren't covered by the bill.