From our opposition friends at Bury Northern Pass:
Whether the news was good or bad, your help is needed NOW. Fight adoption of the Bradley-Carson “Pro-Kelo Decision” Bill and help secure SPNHF’s easement!
Fight Adoption of New Hampshire’s New “Pro-Kelo Decision Bill”!
As early as January 10, the full Senate will consider the new Bradley-Carson “Pro-Kelo Decision Bill” for private, participant-funded transmission lines that the Judiciary Committee will recommend for adoption. This is old business that the Senate must clear before moving into the new legislative year. Expect the vote to come up very soon in January.
Make no mistake: this bill would not, in fact, “toughen” NH’s eminent domain laws. Instead, it would gut the provisions against abuse of eminent domain in HB 648 and make it easier for projects like Northern Pass to use eminent domain:
“What’s the bottom line? Bradley/Carson does nothing to stop eminent domain for private transmission lines. Bradley/Carson does nothing to stop Northern Pass’s current abusive strategy of making broad public announcements of the eminent domain threat, so they become part of every landowner discussion without any new mention of the words. In fact, the amendment effectively gives Northern Pass a free pass to continue this abuse. And if there are key landowners that Northern Pass really, really wants to threaten with eminent domain, Bradley/Carson doesn’t stand in the way, because the $25,000 penalty is peanuts and just a small cost of doing business.”
You can educate yourself further about the proposed bill here.
The date on the text of the Bradley-Carson “pro-Kelo” amendment, December 6, suggests that Senators Bradley and Carson made the final form public two days before the Judiciary Committee voted on it. In the executive session discussion on December 8, the Senators seemed less than clear what the bill meant or how it should be finalized. There was quibbling back and forth about its provisions; there was talk of a “study committee.” To put the best face on it, the Judiciary Committee’s research on what this bill actually would do is incomplete, their grasp of it fuzzy. They passed it 4-0 anyway. Maybe some of them saw it as just a “placeholder” that kicks some form of the bill to the full Senate for decision, amendment, or rejection soon. In our view, there were far better options presented on December 8, namely, the Forrester amendment and the related Bragdon amendment. These are the ones the full Senate should revive and consider in January, not the Bradley Carson amendment.
What the Committee had crystal-clear knowledge of, however, was how many emails it had received prior to the Dec. 8 session: 600, announced committee chair Houde. These things they track very precisely even if their knowledge of the B-C bill itself seemed cursory at best.
Therefore, please continue contacting Senators and others. It is even more urgent now than before. Don’t let up over the holiday break. Carve out some time to keep the pressure on. Make sure all of NH understands that the Bradley-Carson “pro-Kelo” bill radically departs from the intent of what NH overwhelmingly adopted in 2006: Constitutional amendment 12-A, an “anti-Kelo Decision” measure. B-C counters NH voters’ values and our expressed rejection of the right of private developers to seize property. The Forrester and Bragdon amendments respect property rights and complete the job to defend them fully against eminent domain abuse.
All 24 Senators (contact info here: http://burynorthernpass.blogspot.com/p/hb-648-documents.html)
Your Representative(s) — let them know what’s going on; they have final “veto” power over Senate bills the very same day they are adopted. Educate them about this “pro-Kelo” bill. It runs counter to the 648 bill they supported 317-51 last winter.
Other elected officials.
Your community — letters to the editor of your paper about the outrage that occurred on December 8th; urge your neighbors to contact all Senators and their Representatives.
Constituents in Senate districts other than your own.