Follow Us On:

Missouri Assembly sends eminent domain reforms to governor

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 6:55 am

The Missouri General Assembly passed SS HCS HB 2005 this week, giving final approval to critical legislation to safeguard and strengthen private property protections for Missouri’s family farms. HB 2005, sponsored by Rep. Mike Haffner (R-Pleasant Hill) and its companion bill carried by Sen. Jason Bean (R-Peach Orchard), will now be delivered to Governor Parson for signature.

“I am proud to partner with Senator Bean to protect Missouri family farmers, the constitution, and our core foundational principles,” Rep. Mike Haffner said. “It is long past time to reform our eminent domain statutes and provide foundational protection to property owners. This bill says Missouri is open for economic development, especially to improve our electrical grid, but it will not come on the backs of Missouri farmers, ranchers and landowners.”

“As fifth-generation family farmer, I know how important this bill is to countless farmers and landowners throughout Missouri. These laws needed to be clarified because eminent domain should be used only for necessary public services that truly serve the common good,” Sen. Jason Bean said. “Meaningful eminent domain reforms are long overdue and I’m proud to lead my colleagues in delivering this long-awaited win for Missouri farmers.”

Both bill sponsors stressed the urgency of the reforms, noting construction of new high voltage lines is expected to start this summer in Missouri.

“This bill puts an end to for-profit abuses of eminent domain. The need for these important reforms to protect our constitutional private property rights is more

The bill is of particular interest to farmers.

important than ever,” Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe said.

The bill has been a top legislative priority of Missouri’s leading agriculture organizations, including the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Corn Growers Association, and Missouri Soybean Association.

“HB 2005 will bring substantial reform to the eminent domain process to the benefit of farmers and landowners and all Missourians,” Garrett Hawkins, President of Missouri Farm Bureau, said. “No longer will Missouri be wide open and fully exposed to private for-profit companies taking private land for private gain. We applaud the General Assembly for passing HB 2005 and sending this bill to Governor Parson’s desk.”

“The need to reform eminent domain is even more urgent with two new high voltage transmission lines expected to be approved this summer,” Mike Deering, Executive Vice President of Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, said. “Without this bill, landowner rights would continue to be trampled. The power grid has largely been built on the backs of farm and ranch families, whether they wanted to sell their land or not. It is long past time to bring fairness and common sense to the process.”

“The passage of HB 2005 restores power back to the farmer and private landowner,” said Matt Wright, Missouri Soybean Association president. “As a farmer and a father, I feel it’s my duty to protect my land for generations to come. On behalf of me and my fellow soybean farmers, we’re truly grateful for the leadership displayed by Sen. Bean and Rep. Haffner through this process.”

“Protecting the property rights of farmers is a battle we will never stop fighting,” said Missouri Corn Growers Association President Jay Schutte of Benton City. “This legislative session had many unexpected twists and turns, but we are proud to stand alongside Missouri’s agriculture organizations today to celebrate the passage of this important measure. We appreciate the steadfast leadership of Sen. Jason Bean and Rep. Mike Haffner for never relenting in the battle and look forward to Gov. Parson signing this legislation into law.”

“This bill is a major step toward ensuring eminent domain laws are not abused for private gain,” Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher said. “I want to thank each of my colleagues who made this bill’s passage possible and our bill sponsors for their leadership and commitment to strengthening every Missourian’s constitutional rights.”