Good news! There’s a hearing coming up regarding HF 1182, authored by Rep. David Bly, that would repeal Minn. Stat. 117.189 and its exemptions for public service corporations (utilities) from many of the landowner-protective provisions of Minnesota’s eminent domain law.
This is a very important bill, one that landowners across Minnesota are looking for, one that would be a big step in restoring public interest and equity in eminent domain laws, one that NoCapX 2020 and United Citizen Action Network have been working on for, depending on. People affected by CapX 2020 need this bill.
How important is it? Well, it extends far beyond the Midwest — this last week, someone from New York is searching “Michael Ahern” and “117.189” together, Ahern being a big buck big influence lobbyist and brains behind much of Xcel’s … well, Xcel’s everything. Maybe I give him too much credit, but Xcel needs a mastermind or two and I think he’s one of them behind this usurpation of one of our most fundamental constitutional rights. Thanks, Mike… thanks a lot…
Here’s the info on the hearing:
WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2009
Joint Meeting of the Energy Finance & Policy Division and Civil Justice Committee
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chairs: Rep. Bill Hilty, Rep. Joe Mullery
Agenda: Informational hearing on HF1182 (Bly) Public service corporation exemptions repealed.
Anyone wishing to testify should contact Andy Pomroy at andy.pomroy [at] house.mn
Energy Finance & Policy Division
570 State Office Building
What’s 117.189? Here it is (Revisor’s website is down today, scary, it said “117.189 does not exist” … right, we should be so lucky, and when it comes back, it will have a different address, sooooo, every link on my sites will be dead… great):
Sections 117.031; 117.036; 117.055, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); 117.186; 117.187; 117.188; and 117.52, subdivisions 1a and 4, do not apply to public service corporations. For purposes of an award of appraisal fees under section 117.085, the fees awarded may not exceed $500 for all types of property.
Click links to see what all is exempted! It’s downright scary! (If the links don’t work or aren’t automatically redirected when the get the new site up and running, I’ll put in the new links.)
In 2006, when this bill was passed, a bi-partisan sellout, only Sen. Scott Dibble was on record asking, “Why exempt a public service corporation?” I’ve listened to over six hours of hearings, and it made me wonder what was in the water, with such glazed-over acceptance of such dramatic exemptions. Xcel did a great job of lobbying, and I remember that session, I was having to work on making a living and couldn’t get up to the legislature. The answer to “WHY?” is simple — they want to be exempted because they want to do CapX, with unprecedented eminent domain, this CapX Phase I of several would be affecting more landowners than ever before in Minnesota history.
Contact Andy Pomroy, info above, to testify about this bill. If there’s any way to get there, show up. Let them know what you think.
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