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Eminent domain again hot topic at Legislature

 


Eminent domain again hot topic at Legislature

MATT GOURAS, Associated Press

HELENA — Eminent domain is again a hot topic at the Legislature.

Lawmakers are taking their first look at a bill from landowners and ranchers who feel they have been treated unfairly under eminent domain laws.

The landowners argue those behind big projects, such as the Department of Transportation or utilities building transmission lines, can unfairly force them to take bad offers.

State Rep. Kelly Flynn of Townsend pitched his proposed fix to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. It aims to give landowners more power in negotiations.

But opponents led by NorthWestern Energy argue the proposal would let just one or two landowners permanently derail a project or extort enormous sums. Utilities have their own bill that makes certain they can use eminent domain.

HELENA — Eminent domain is again a hot topic at the Legislature.

Lawmakers are taking their first look at a bill from landowners and ranchers who feel they have been treated unfairly under eminent domain laws.

The landowners argue those behind big projects, such as the Department of Transportation or utilities building transmission lines, can unfairly force them to take bad offers.

State Rep. Kelly Flynn of Townsend pitched his proposed fix to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. It aims to give landowners more power in negotiations.

But opponents led by NorthWestern Energy argue the proposal would let just one or two landowners permanently derail a project or extort enormous sums. Utilities have their own bill that makes certain they can use eminent domain.

 

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