November 23, 2014

Dubas’ bill would strengthen laws on eminent domain

The community action group Bold Nebraska is now backing a bill before state lawmakers (LB 152) which it calls a landowner protection measure.

The group’s energy director Ben Gotschall says a key provision of the bill puts sharper teeth into the law when dealing with eminent domain and the seizure of property — like with a pipeline project.

Gotschall says, “The bill provides for landowners to receive compensation for damages and attorney’s fees if the provisions of the law are not followed by the companies.”

Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton

Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton

The bill was authored by Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton.

It’s not a pipeline bill, but Gotschall says it makes up for shortages created by previous eminent domain legislation which clearly favored TransCanada, the company behind the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Gotschall says, “We’re glad Senator Dubas came forward with this bill and we are calling for an emergency clause be added to the bill to make it applicable immediately.”

Bold Nebraska also supports provisions calling for complete and accurate information provided to landowners regarding the purpose of condemnation and that all permits be in place including a present plan and public purpose.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton