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Monday, February 1, 2010

HB 1153: Republicans Weaken Property Rights, Remove Barrier to Eminent Domain

Representative Shantel Krebs (R-10/Renner) and Senator Mike Vehle (R-20/Mitchell) are primary sponsors of a measure that would weaken South Dakotans' protection against eminent domain. HB 1153 would repeal the requirement that railroad companies get approval of the Governor or the Transportation Commission to exercise eminent domain.

A railroad company that wants to take your land would still have to go to court. The problem here is that HB 1153 eliminates one more chance that South Dakota farmers, ranchers, and other landowners have to make their case that their land is their land and that the railroad at least needs to offer a better price.

I see one Democrat, Senator Dan Ahlers (D-25/Dell Rapids), with his name on this stinky bill. The other 13 legislators who want to make it easier for certain powerful corporations to take your land are all Republicans.

Plank 11 of the South Dakota Republican Party platform of 2008 says "The South Dakota Republican Party strongly supports private property rights." HB 1153 says otherwise.

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