April 8, 2017
The Alliance continues to work with legislators and our lobbyists to find a path in the Senate for HB 603.
Contact your Senator and ask for support of this bill. Click here for information on how to contact your senator.
March 28, 2017
HF 603 passed by the House 93-0. This bill addresses eminent domain laws in the state of Iowa. The language in Division 1 would restrict the ability of merchant lines to condemn private property. This means that Clean Line (RICL) cannot use eminent domain to take any agricultural private property to erect an above ground high voltage transmission line.
Click Here to read this bill.
The Alliance hired Carney Appleby Law Firm to represent us at the Capital this legislative session. We accomplished a good deal last session and it is our goal to continue to strengthen Iowa's eminent domain laws to protect private property from eminent domain abuse.
The final outcome of 2016 legislative efforts came to a conclusion today:
The Governor did not line-item veto any of the language in either bill. The net impact is:
1- Now there is a definition of Merchant Utility Line.
2- Now there is a timeline written into code.
These are very significant wins and give us finality for the RICL project which is 2 years from today.
Many legislators had their eyes opened this year on the issue and now we have a place in the code to keep working on restrictions for merchant lines.
April 8, 2016
HF 2448 has been referred to the Senate Goverment Oversight Committee.
Contact your Senators- see information below on how to contact senators.
Contact Senators on the Goverment Oversight Committe
April 5, 2016 - HOUSE FILE 2448 Passed!
HF 2448 was bought to the House floor for debate and vote.Click here to go to the Iowa Legislature website to read the final bill.
The final Vote was 63- 33 in favor of the bill.
Watch the Live Video of Session
Read House Journal of Session
The House Journal also includes a full list of who voted for and against the bill. Please take time to see how your representative voted and follow up with a thank you to those who voted in favor of this important bill.
April 3, 2016
Our organization has been working with the House Oversight Committee to draft language to address high-voltage direct current power lines being erected across the state of Iowa by private companies for purely economic development reasons.
The original bill - HSB 640 - easily passed out of sub committee and committe and now has a new number - HF 2448
Representative Kaufmann is expecting HF2448 bill to be debated either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday of this week (April 3, 2016). He has asked that we reach out to people across the state to contact Senators and Representatives.
The first task will be getting the bill passed in the Iowa house so we should focus on our representatives initially. Do not be afraid of contacting Senators to let them know about the bill in the house.
It is the Alliances belief that private companies simply moving a commodity (in this case electricity) through the state of Iowa to be used by people in other states should be treated differently than utilities. In particular these companies building merchant lines should not be afforded the right of eminent domain to the same extent as a utility.
Iowa must develop a statutory framework to balance private landowner rights against the economic development interests of private companies wanting to build electrical lines for purely economic gain.
The legislation authored by the House Oversight Committee sets up a statutory framework to create such a balance between private companies building merchant lines and Iowa private landowners. HF 2448 does not forbid a company from requesting the power of eminent domain to construct a merchant line but it does put limitations on the extent of the proposed line that may be condemned. In particular, the bill requires the petitioner to have acquired at least 75% of the route voluntarily before the utilities board may even consider their petition.
Iowans should not have to live with a potential condemnation and/or construction of huge high-voltage lines on their property for an indefinite amount of time. The bill specifically addresses the length of time that a petitioner can keep their filing open with the utilities board. The bill accomplishes this by requiring the utilities board to grant a franchise within two years of the first County informational meeting held by the petitioner.
The bill also changes the definition of public that the utilities board must apply when determining public interest or benefit. When reviewing a petition for construction of a merchant line, the board must only consider consumers located in Iowa as compared to consumers both inside and outside of Iowa.
Contact your legislator by calling, emailing or writing a letter.
To call your legislator during session:
Representatives -515-281-3221 Senators - 515-281-3371 Ask to be transferred to their desk.
To write to your legislator at the Capital use this address:
(name of legislator)
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Home addresses and phone numbers are also available.