Chambers tells colleagues the law has several constitutional flaws and contains penalties much too harsh for a civil violation.
“The bill has never been used, never. But the fact that it’s on the books and allows these unconstitutional actions to be taken against people’s private property it ought not stay there,” Chambers tells colleagues.
But what Chambers sees as a flaw, Sen. Dan Hughes of Vernango sees that as a plus.
“To me this is one of the greatest laws ever. It has never been used,” Hughes tells colleagues. “This is a law that this legislature put in place and it has never been used. It’s never had to be used. Because it was in place, it forced the adjoining land owners to solve the problem themselves.”
Still, lawmakers have advanced the bill. It needs to clear two more votes before it goes to the governor.
The law authorizes counties to act to address complaints about growing prairie dog colonies. County officials can authorize agents to go onto private property and eradicate prairie dogs, even if the property owner objects.