Mo. House approves bill on private property protections for family farms

By Amber Ruch – Feb. 25, 2021 at 2:57 PM CST

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) – The Missouri House passed a bill giving approval to some private property protections for family farms.

Sponsored by Representative Mike Haffner (R-Pleasant Hill), lawmakers passed HCS HB 527 with a vote of 123-33, which will now move to the Missouri Senate.

The Senate version, Senate Bill 508, is sponsored by Sen. Jason Bean (R-Holcomb).

“This bill is a major step toward ensuring private, for-profit companies, will no longer be able to abuse eminent domain laws for private gain,” Rep. Haffner said, “I am proud to lead this fight for our family farmers by sponsoring this critical legislation to strengthen our constitutional private property rights.”

According to Haffner, the bill looks to prevent harmful abuses of private companies taking private land for private gain, and strengthens private property laws by ensuring merchant transmission lines do not get the power of eminent domain.

The bill specifies that those looking for approval for a merchant line must first provide the PSC with a resolution of support passed by the county commission in each county through which the merchant line will be built.

The restriction does not apply to any rural electric cooperatives or any electrical corporation operating under a cooperative business plan.