House Bill 1084, filed by rookie radical Representative Karla Lems (R-16/Canton), is titled “An Act to grant a common carrier the right of eminent domain for public use.” But it actually amends our existing eminent domain statute for common carriers—SDCL 49-2-12, “A common carrier may exercise the right of eminent domain in acquiring right of way as prescribed by statute”—by inserting the condition “for the public use”. Adding that condition would limit the ability of common carriers to seize public land to situations where they can demonstrate that the public will use their project. Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions isn’t offering all of us the chance to vent our carbon dioxide into their proposed pipeline network; they’re just negotiating with a few private parties across the plains, and they’ll get really mad if any of us commoners try to touch their pipeline.
Restricting eminent domain to projects for public use is exactly the sort of sensible reform, in the spirit of the Founding Fathers, that Democrats were talking about last year. Yet no Democrats have joined the 16 radical right-wingers (e.g., the Senate sponsors are Tom Pischke and Julie Frye-Mueller) sponsoring HB 1084.
Democrats, Freedom Caucus—do you folks not talk to each other?