Rep. Haffner’s eminent domain bill signed into law
By Raymore Journal staff
During the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association’s annual Steak Fry Dinner, Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill (HB) 2005 into law. HB 2005 expands protections under the law for Missouri’s farm and ranch families in certain eminent domain proceedings.
“We are happy to join the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, farmers, and ranchers from across the state to sign this long-awaited legislation into law,” Governor Parson said. “As a farmer myself, I understand the importance of strong property rights and that no farmer wants to be forced from the family farm by the government or anyone else. That’s why we are signing HB 2005. This legislation provides fair protections for our farm families, tightens the use of eminent domain, and ensures the interests of Missouri farmers are always considered and balanced with the public good.”
HB 2005 contains several provisions that modify state statute as it relates to the use of eminent domain by certain electrical utilities:
- Electrical corporations must have a substation or converter station in Missouri that provides an amount of energy proportional to the length of their transmission line within the state;
- Electrical corporations must secure necessary financial commitments within seven years of when an involuntary easement is obtained or the easement must be returned to the original title holder without repayment to the utility;
- The compensation rate for agricultural or horticultural land is increased to 150 percent of the fair market value, which is determined by the court; and
- In condemnation proceedings where disinterested commissioners are appointed, at least one member must be a local farmer who has operated in the county for at least 10 years.
The bill was introduced by Raymore’s representative at the Missouri House, Rep. Mike Haffner.
“We embrace economic development, especially when it comes to improving our electrical grid,” Rep. Haffner said in a statement, “But we will not do it on the backs of Missouri farmers, ranchers, and the Missouri agricultural industry.”
“This bill is about the farmers and ranchers from across our great state that travel to Jefferson City and beat the halls of the Capitol weekly,” said State Senator Jason Bean. “These farm families have made their case for years and with the expected approval of more electric transmission projects, the time for property rights reform was absolutely now. We appreciate the leadership of Missouri’s Ag groups who helped pursue a fair negotiating position. Missourians shouldn’t have to spend their hard earned money on legal fees trying to get a fair price for their land; their livelihood, which simply isn’t for sale.”
“Keeping the farm in the family is important to me, Governor Parson, and the entire agriculture community,” Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in a statement. “It is important to protect all opportunities for the next generation to return to farms and ranches across Missouri.”