Thursday’s meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Eminent Domain hears from utilities and farmers with differing opinions on the benefits and costs of easements. The utilities claim they sometimes need to take control of parts of farmland to supply electricity and other needs to communities. Mid-Missouri farmer Byron Baker insists it is wrong for corporations – even utilities – to take farmland without just compensation. Farmers say the companies use eminent domain to take the land and pay the farmers less than what the land is worth. And, farmers say they don’t have the lawyers that companies have in dealing with eminent domain takeovers. The panel has already sent its preliminary report to Governor Matt Blunt. It’s now cleaning up some of the details and getting a little more input before sending a final report to the Governor by the end of the year.
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