A great way that you can support our battle against eminent domain abuse is to testify at a hearing for a bill which would fight eminent domain. You can attend the hearing and testify or you can submit the testimony to the committee chair. Some ideas for testimony are below:

Testimony Example 1

We own a small 105 acre farm in Northeast Missouri which is in  the pathway of a potential transmission line that cuts off the northern portion of our farm. We understand that alternatives to this transmission line exist which include upgrading existing lines with easements already established. We are concerned that Missouri laws do not protect land owners such as us against abuse of eminent domain by utility companies that are focused on profit with little regard to the damage, disruption or deception that is caused.

We sincerely appreciate the fact that HB 640 and HB 795 received a hearing before the Utilities Committee on  4/6/2017 and wanted to send you a note of gratitude for your consideration of these Bills. As a member of the Economic Development Committee, we know that you are also aware of the importance of agriculture and agricultural related businesses to Missouri’s economy. Once transmission companies are given free-will to arbitrarily cut across Missouri farmland, there will be no end to the destruction and devastation caused to farmers and ranchers all over the state. This will ultimately result in the reduction in property value, a decline in crop productivity and grassland due to soil compaction, and uncertain health impacts which are all serious concerns.  Furthermore, proposed easements do not restrict utility companies to a specific path but entitle access from anywhere on a landowner’s property and without regard to land conditions.  Attached are a few photos which illustrate this point.

We are asking that you support HB 640 and HB 795 which assist in giving a voice to the citizens of Missouri.  We realize that eminent domain is a difficult issue to tackle, but if not addressed, then what is to stop profit-seeking corporations from seizing homes, retirements, and generations of hard work from individuals and families who do not have the financial resources to fight such an injustice?  

 

Testimony Example 2

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to listen to testimony about Nate Walker’s Bills this evening. I was in attendance, but didn’t have the opportunity to speak so I wanted to pass along my testimony.
I don’t recall who brought it up but it was insinuated that these bills are unnecessary due to the functionality of the PSC. We haven’t seen this to be the case. It’s apparent that the legislature needs to update the rules because the system is broken. For example with both the Mark Twain and Grain Belt projects the PSC erred in not following their own staff’s recommendations and we’ve spent the last three years getting dragged through court because of this. We’ve worked late nights, giving up things we care about, and sacrificing to raise over $100,000 through bake sales, craft fairs, and donations of our own money to cover court costs and legal fees to fight the PSC.  When we were finally vindicated in court, the judge issuing the decision called the case a “waste of administrative and judicial time and resources.”
We are still nowhere closer to having our land protected from permanent soil compaction, routing that cuts across our fields, or possible broad easements that could be sold at later dates to reopen options for private or even foreign companies to do with our land as they please.
Please consider doing something to help us. Missouri’s lack of regulations entice companies to take advantage of us and we’re left out here to practically give up everything we have to protect what’s ours. You have the power to do something really meaningful and good and in the best interest of some of the hardest working people in this state who are left the most vulnerable. Please vote yes for HB640 and HB795.