Missouri House Passes Eminent Domain Legislation - Cattlemen's Top Priority Moves to Senate
The Missouri House of Representatives passed legislation Monday, January 27, 2020, addressing the issue of eminent domain. The legislation (HB 2033), sponsored by Rep. Jim Hansen (R-40), moved forward with a bipartisan 118-42 vote becoming the first piece of legislation to pass the House this legislative session. Missouri Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Mike Deering said the legislation will add clarity to eminent domain laws in the state and add protections for private property owners.
"Eminent domain was intended to be used as a last resort for critical projects providing necessities to the public. It was not intended to be used by private, for-profit companies looking to take private land for private gain," said Deering. "This legislation is a good first step to strengthening eminent domain laws in our state.
"The association's president, Marvin Dieckman, was quick to call the passage of the legislation a victory for private property rights.
"This is about private property rights. Plain and simple. If companies want to work out a deal with landowners, we have no qualms about that," said Dieckman, who is a cattle producer from Cole Camp, Missouri. "We have no tolerance for confiscating private property while providing little-to-no benefit to the general public. The power of eminent domain is being abused and it's amounting to a pervasive invasion of private property rights.
"Rep. Hansen's HB 2033 now moves to the Senate for consideration. The Senate also has companion legislation (SB 597), which passed Wednesday, January 29, 2020, out of the "Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee" by a 6-5 vote. Deering said the association appreciates all House members who supported the legislation and noted Rep. Hansen's leadership.
"Rep. Hansen has been relentless the last few years on this issue. He believes in private property rights and is fighting for landowners in his district and throughout the state," said Deering. "This win would not have been possible without the unwavering commitment from the Speaker of the House. Speaker Elijah Haahr (R-134) made this issue a priority a year ago and didn't give up on us."