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Eminent domain measure stalls in committee


HELENA — A Senate committee stopped an eminent domain bill that's backed by businesses and it is now likely lawmakers will take no action on eminent domain during the 2011 legislative session.

House Bill 198 is aimed at giving utility companies the right to take private property for public use, as long as landowners receive compensation. It stalled on a 6-6 vote Monday in the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

Developing a mechanism for resolving disputes between advocates of property rights and utility line business development has been a sticking point with lawmakers for...

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