On Tuesday, February 18, Governor Mike Parson informed members of Missouri Farm Bureau that he supports legislation to reform Missouri’s eminent domain laws. Speaking to the organization’s annual Legislative Briefing in Jefferson City, Parson expressed his desire to stand with the people of rural Missouri against eminent domain abuse.

SB 597 (Sen. Brown) and HB 2033 (Rep. Hansen) would stop private, for-profit companies from receiving eminent domain authority to build merchant electricity transmission lines. Plans by backers of the Grain Belt Express wind energy merchant transmission line forced local residents to advocate for a change in the law.

“Eminent domain should only be granted by the government for truly public uses, not given to corporations for private uses exempt from state regulation,” said Blake Hurst, President of Missouri Farm Bureau. “Governor Parson’s support for these bills shows his understanding of rural values and property rights. He knows this is an abuse of the power of eminent domain and sets a dangerous precedent. Purely profit-driven ventures should have to freely negotiate and pay market rates for land. The legislature should pass this bill immediately and send it to Governor Parson’s desk for signature.”