The Senate has voted 31-0 to authorize the state agriculture director to use deficiency warrants to pay for emergency measures to combat invasive quagga or zebra mussels in Idaho waterways. "The mussels right now are in northern Utah," Senate Agriculture Chairman Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, told the Senate. "They could get here unless we take action to stop them. ... We need to act to preserve our water, we need to act to preserve our fisheries. We need to act, and that's what this resolution is all about - it allows the director of the Department of Agriculture to act." When deficiency warrants are issued, the state has to pay the bills, even if it hasn't previously appropriated money for them. In this case, the upper limit would be $5 million. The measure, SCR 109, which now moves to the House, declares that "a condition of extreme peril exists in and around the water bodies of the state of Idaho."
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