Readers asked, readers get: here’s the first of five proposals for legislation that bubbled to the top of the Dakota Free Press readers’ poll on bills we’d like to see the 2016 South Dakota Legislature pass!
Dakota Free Press Bill #1: Restricting Eminent Domain
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to restrict eminent domain in South Dakota.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That Chapter 21-35 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:
Any non-governmental entity seeking to use eminent domain to take property and/or property rights for any purpose from five or more landowners within South Dakota for a single project must submit to the court written proof that at least 80% of landowners who will surrender property and/or property rights for the project have voluntarily signed binding contracts to sell their property and/or property rights to the entity seeking eminent domain authority. Absent this written proof, the court may not consider the eminent domain petition.
Section 2. That the code be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:
If any party presents credible evidence that the non-governmental entity seeking eminent domain used duress or deception to obtain consent from any member of the 80% of landowners consenting to the project, the court shall reject the non-governmental entity’s petition for eminent domain.
The comment section stands ready for your amendments and debate! Stay tuned for DFP Bills 2–5, coming up in the next 48 hours.