A compromise to focus the resources of the Soil Conservation Commission on court-ordered water quality improvements has cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The bill, sent to the full Senate on Tuesday, leaves the commission in control of its staff after it is transferred from the Lands Department to the Agriculture Department.
The agriculture director will appoint the soil conservation director but only from a slate of nominees submitted by the commission.
“It has the agreement of the governor,” Republican Sen. Bob Lee of Rexburg said. “It has had some feedback but not near what we had on the other bill.”
Gov. Phil Batt’s original proposal, seen by many farmers and ranchers as a power grab by the governor, essentially shoved the commission to the side and put the agriculture director directly in charge.