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MO Private Property Rights Bill Passes Senate

Legislation to protect private property rights was passed by the Missouri Senate.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins said the Brownfield Senate’s passage of eminent domain legislation has been a long time coming.

“I can’t say enough about the landowners who continue to face these issues…” he said. “And through the conversation they sparked, we were able to work with lawmakers to deliver a forward-looking bill that is a benchmark for Missouri.”

The bill, sponsored by Representative Mike Haffner and carried by Senator Jason Bean, aims to limit the use of eminent domains by private companies to acquire land. Eminent domain has been the focus of the Missouri legislature in recent years as the Grain Belt Express project acquired land in northern Missouri to produce wind power.

Nicole Luckey, senior vice president of energy technology company Invenergy, said the bill is a “win-win for Missourians because the Grain Belt Express project will continue.” She says the project will save Missourians at least $12 million in annual energy costs. The bill prevents private companies from acquiring land using eminent domain in the future.

Hawkins said the bill shows that property rights can be respected while supporting energy security.

He said power transmission projects are transforming with the Biden administration’s emphasis on green power, underscoring the need for protective legislation.

“We’re in the crosshairs because we’re at the crossroads of the country,” Hawkins said. “We know that states like Iowa and Arkansas have taken action to protect their landowners and we’re there, quite frankly, our farmers and landowners have been exposed.”

The bill now returns to the Missouri House for a final vote.

Interview with Garrett Hawkins

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