Press "Enter" to skip to content

Carcasses Litter Legislative Hopper; DFP Eminent Domain Proposal May Get Hearing?

The Legislative hopper is getting cluttered with carcasses, empty shells thrown into the hopper while we wait for sponsors to figure out the details of what they want to do and spring those details on us as surprise hoghouse amendments in committee. We have HB 1143 on medical services, HB 1144 to “enhance the state” (sounds like socialism, right? and it comes from two Republican sponsors!), HB 1145 to do something with education… arrgghh! These carcasses are like students coming up to the teacher and saying, “I know out papers are due today, but I’m still working on mine, so here’s my folder! I’ll fill it with my paper next week.” Do your homework, legislators!

One intriguing carcass is HB 1153, which proposes nothing more than “That eminent domain be reformed by consensus.” Hmm… consensus… of landowners? Hey! Sponsor Representatives Johns, DuvallSolum, and Wiik and Senator Peterson! We already have language you can stuff in that carcass: Dakota Free Press Bill #1, an Act to restrict eminent domain in South Dakota! Based on the land grabs we’ve authorized TransCanada and the Dakota Access Pipeline to conduct in our state, readers have suggested we tighten the rules of eminent domain to protect South Dakota landowners from corporate power. Require pipeliners and other private entities trying to condemn our land to obtain voluntary agreements from 80% of the landowners directly affected by their project, and reject private companies’ petitions for eminent domain if anyone presents credible evidence that the companies have used duress or deception to obtain any of those agreements.

See, legislators? The blogosphere can come up with good ideas and write them up before the bill-submission deadline; so can you!


  1. Nick Nemec 2016-01-29

    These one line carcasses are a relatively recent legislative development. During my service in the legislature 20+ years ago these types of bills were not introduced.

  2. Paul Seamans 2016-01-29

    Dakota Rural Action and the Stockgrowers is sponsoring their own bill on eminent domain reform that will have a little more meat than HB1153. I haven’t seen the final language yet. A separate bill may be introduced with a percentage required for voluntary easements before eminent domain power is granted.

    South Dakota’s eminent domain laws are all over the place. An example is that railroads need to convince the governor that a project is in the interest of the people of South Dakota before they are granted eminent domain while all a pipeline company needs to do to gain eminent domain power is declare that they are a common carrier.

  3. bret clanton 2016-01-29

    I am assuming HB1153 is laying in wait as a response to the DRA and the SD Stockgrowers bill. The practice of these one liner bills needs to go away…They lay in wait until the absolute last moment to reveal themselves…

  4. mike from iowa 2016-01-29

    Here is some fine print at the bottom of B Clanton’s link, 100 copies were printed on recycled paper by the South Dakota
    Legislative Research Council at a cost of $.161 per page.

    How much does the gubmint charge bloggers and others for each copy of public records?

  5. bret clanton 2016-01-29

    HB 1134 essentially says they can enter your backyard without notifying you or seek permission. Another questionable feature of the bill is survey…Define survey?

  6. jerry 2016-01-29

    What always strikes me are that the bills in question that Mr. Clanton brings up. It does seem like they are meant to be utilized together to do as they please to get their results regardless of the landowners views or wishes could be. That is not democracy, that is skulduggery and arrogance at its highest order. Why would ag producers support this?

  7. jerry 2016-01-29

    Boy, this crooked bunch in Pierre has answers for everything for their owners that seems to be the case. I wonder what they get paid to come up with this stuff and who writes the checks.

  8. Mark Winegar 2016-01-29

    I support property rights. Eminent domain should only be used for the public good, that being the local American public. It should not be used for the good of private enterprise, especially foreign enterprise.

  9. Donald Pay 2016-01-29

    Any carcass available for a nuclear waste vote bill?

    Here’s an update on what’s been happening since the Department of Energy selected Rugby, ND as the test site for deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste. If you can believe it, and I guess I do, the DOE selected Rugby, ND, without any discussion with any local or state official. It was just, “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.” Needless to say, the sh*t hit the fan, and ND’s governor seems to be taking a “hell, no” position, at least initially.

    Really, I can’t believe DOE tried to rape ND without greasing the skids with the leaders. Obviously, this was not their first choice. South Dakota had, of course, been groomed for several years to be the site of the borehole test. Yours truly and Cory got the word out, and this, apparently, was enough to scare off the feds, at least for now.

    If ND puts up the kind of fight I suspect they might, DOE may be looking to slip this into SD on the sly.

    Here’s some coverage from the Bismarck Tribune:

  10. mike from iowa 2016-01-29

    Thanks for the update,Donald Pay. I heard some county supervisors in iowa had no idea anyone was planning a pipeline through iowa until the first meeting was organized. Don’t think they appreciate being left in the dark.either.

  11. Paul Seamans 2016-01-29

    Thanks for the link Donald Pay.

  12. jake 2016-01-30

    Mr. Pay you and your input are greatly appreciated by readers of this blog. Thank you!

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-30

    Bret, interesting bill! Does HB1134 mean the surveyor can come on your land before the eminent domain case has even been resolved? And would “public use” include “common carriers” like the TransCanada and Dakota Access pipelines?

    Paul, I look forward to seeing the Stockgrowers/DRA proposal!

    Donald, are you suggesting our effort to publicize the borehole project actually made a difference? Holy cow!

  14. grudznick 2016-01-31

    Surprises can be good things. These bills are like presents around the Festivus pole, just waiting to be selected to be your very own. You never know if they’ll be good or they’ll be bad, but your anxiety and curiosity keep you on the edge of your stool.

  15. mike from iowa 2016-01-31

    The Natural Gas Act, (from the United State Code, Chapter 15) states that before eminent domain can be invoked:

    1. an application must be filed under oath

    2. a certificate of public convenience and necessity must be granted by FERC

    3. notice must be given to landowners

    4. eminent domain proceedings are successfully concluded in federal district court

    Quite simply, you do not need to let landmen on your property at all, for any reason, until all of these steps, and all appeals have been finalized.

    I believe this was from a case in New York,but US code is pretty straightforward.
    The pipeline outfit in this case was threatening eminent domain if landowners didn’t sign to allow trespassing(surveyors?) before any other steps had
    been undertaken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.