HELENA (AP) — The Montana Senate has backed a measure that would repeal some of the powers of eminent domain granted by the 2011 Legislature.
Senate Bill 180 would roll back the law that gave both public utility companies and other energy development companies the right to purchase private property for public use.
The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Debby Barrett of Dillon, says the 2011 Legislature made a mistake in passing HB 198. She says more than 40 states have laws limiting the seizure of private property for economic development.
Opponents of the bill argue for consistency and say repealing the 2011 measure would discourage investment in the state.
The bill passed an initial 28-22 vote Tuesday. It needs to pass a final vote before moving to the House.
Sens. Greg Jergeson, D-Chinook, and Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, voted against the measure.