MO private property rights bill passes Senate
Legislation to protect private property rights has passed the Missouri Senate.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins tells Brownfield Senate passage of eminent domain legislation has been a long time coming.
“I can’t say enough about the landowners who continue to face these issues…,” he said. “And because of the conversation that they have raised, we have been able to work with lawmakers to come up with a forward-looking bill that is a benchmark for Missouri.”
The bill, sponsored by Representative Mike Haffner and carried by Senator Jason Bean, looks to limit eminent domain use by private companies to acquire land. Eminent domain has been a strong focus of the Missouri legislature for the past few years as the Grain Belt Express project acquired land in northern Missouri to produce wind energy.
Nicole Luckey, Senior Vice President of energy tech company Invenergy, said the bill is a ‘win-win for Missourians as the Grain Belt Express project will continue. She says the project will save Missourians at least $12 million in annual energy costs. The bill does restrict private companies from acquiring land using eminent domain in the future.
Hawkins said the bill shows property rights can be respected while also being in favor of energy security.
He said energy transmission projects are transforming with the Biden administration’s emphasis on green energy, stressing the need for the protective legislation.
“We are in the crosshairs because we are at the cross section of the country,” Hawkins said. “We know states like Iowa and Arkansas have taken steps to protect their landowners and here we are, quite frankly, our farmers and landowners were left exposed.”
The bill now moves back to the Missouri House for a final vote.