Walker's eminent domain bills go before Utilities Committee, landowners to testify

One Heartland lawmaker is continuing to do his part to help protect agricultural land in Missouri.

Republican State Representative Nate Walker of Kirksville hopes to do so with two bills introduced this session.

Both measures, House Bill 640 and House Bill 795 will go before a public hearing in the Utilities Committee Wednesday night.

During the hearing, Walker will have the opportunity to educate committee members on his legislation.

A number of north Missouri landowners, as well as members of the group Neighbors United, will testify at the hearing as to why they believe the bills are necessary.

Walker told KTVO he is happy his bills will go before the Utilities Committee.

"The bills may need some tweaking, they may need some refining. But, getting a hearing and then getting input from citizens of north Missouri, but also other people, will help us move this legislation forward."

House Bill 640 would demand responsible routing of utilities along property lines or boundary lines.

The goal is to minimize damage to land.

The second measure, House Bill 795, would discourage infrastructure built as a way to satisfy corporate greed.

Walker said it would require utilities to upgrade their existing infrastructure instead of taking new land to construct replacements.

He told KTVO the Utilities Committee will probably wait at least a week before taking action on his legislation.

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