Lawmakers override eminent domain veto: Osceola (IA) Sentinel-Tribune, 7/19/06

By Chris Dorsey

The Iowa Legislature, for the first time in more than 40 years, voted Friday to override Gov. Tom Vilsack’s veto on the eminent domain bill.

Lawmakers passed the eminent domain bill with an overwhelming majority in the Iowa House and Senate in April. That bill did restrict using eminent domain - or government bodies using condemnation powers to take property owners — for water source lakes that have plans for private development and/or recreational purposes.

Local officials have been discussing building a multi-purpose lake northwest of Osceola for the past two years. A new water source lake in Clarke County has been discussed for decades.

Legislative leaders have been been calling for the special session since Gov. Vilsack vetoed the bill in June. In Friday’s special session, the Iowa House voted 90-8 and the Senate 41-8 to override the veto.

“As Governor, I approach decisions with the long-term interest of our state in mind,” Gov. Tom Vilsack said following the special session. “I made a decision to veto this bill after tremendous thought and review.”

State Representative Mike Reasoner, D-Creston, supported the bill in April and voted to override the veto.

“Protecting the rights of private property owners is too important to wait until the 2007 legislative session,” said Reasoner. “I listened to the people of my district who overwhelmingly asked me to override the Governor’s veto and I’m pleased this issue is now behind us.”

The new protections for private property owners will take effect immediately, Reasoner said.

“I do not believe government should force private property owners to sell their land to a private developer so they can make more money,” Reasoner said.

Osceola Sentinel-Tribune: http://www.osceolaiowa.com/Sentinel