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Bill Would Require Arizona Tribes To Resolve Water Disputes

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Republican leaders in the state legislature have introduced a measure that would require Native American tribes in Arizona to resolve longstanding water disputes with the state before negotiating new gambling pacts.

Cosponsors of the legislation include House Speaker Rusty Bowers of Mesa, and Senate President Karen Fann of Prescott.

The bill's lead sponsor, Prescott Republican Representative Steve Pierce, told the Arizona Republic the legislation would help speed up the state's complex and lengthy negotiations with tribes over water rights because tribes want to retain the economic benefits of gambling casinos.

Many tribes' current gaming compacts expire in 2023.

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