A fantastic suggestion was made for IASCD’s blog to include periodic state and federal legislative updates. Thank you for the idea! We’ll do our best to update everyone about proposed (and passed) state/federal legislation that affects farmers, ranchers and private land owners.
From the Idaho State Capitol…
S. 1132 amends part of the Idaho Tort Claims Act. If passed, the bill would clarify that only the operating agency, and not the member entities, can be held liable for damage arising from irrigation district construction, operation or maintenance when districts form an agency designed to jointly deliver water. Example: The Fake Board of Irrigators, which includes 10 individual member districts and maintains canals, will now be a single unit. An individual could not sue every individual district. The bill is pending hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
H. 189 relates to eminent domain and amends section 7-701 of Idaho code stating that any entity that wishes to exercise the right of eminent domain must demonstrate that it serves the interests of Idaho residents. Example: An out-of-state power company wants to build power lines through Idaho for Salt Lake City. To do so, they must run the lines through Idaho. However, these power lines will not provide electricity to any Idaho resident. If this bill passed, the power lines could not be built. The word “interests” and “benefit” were debated in Committee. If a farmer receives a payment for the use of his land for these lines, would that serve the interests of Idaho residents? This bill is waiting for a hearing in House State Affairs.
H. 192 amends Section 7-701A, Idaho Code, placing additional limitations on the use of eminent domain. The intent is that eminent domain will not be used for limited transportation corridors, such as a bike path or a greenway, that are not critical to the greater public good. This bill is waiting for a hearing in House State Affairs.
From the US House of Representatives…
Congressman Raúl Labrador (R-ID) introduced his first bill as a Congressman yesterday. HR 846, the Idaho Land Sovereignty Act, would prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Idaho, except by express authorization of Congress. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which Congressman Labrador is a member of.