CAPITOL DIGEST: Moratorium on eminent domain dead | Govt-and-politics | – WCF Courier


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Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, said he is “99.9% sure” there will be no one-year moratorium on the use of eminent domain for carbon pipeline projects passed this session.

The House passed the one-year moratorium as part of the budget bill for the state’s administrative services department, but the Senate passed its own version of that budget bill without the eminent domain moratorium.

Kaufmann said in legislators’ negotiations to finish their work for the session, the eminent domain moratorium did not make the cut. However, he said he believes lawmakers who are supportive of the moratorium sent a signal on behalf of Iowa landowners who are opposed to the use of eminent domain to secure private land for pipeline projects.

“I believe the message was sent loud and clear to any proposed pipeline company that we have an expectation of treating landowners fairly,” Kaufmann said. “I think that message was sent loud and clear by us passing a bill in the House, and I think it has set the tone.”

CLICK IT OR TICKET: Law enforcement agencies across Iowa are participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign through June 5 as part of an effort to combat crashes. Officers will be exhibiting zero tolerance for drivers who are speeding, not buckled, or driving while distracted or impaired.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes in the United States in 2020. In 2021, 94 people not wearing seat belts were killed on Iowa’s roadways, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported.

In Iowa, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $135.50.

BUDGET BILLS: State lawmakers did some hefty lifting on establishing the next state budget, which begins in roughly six weeks. The House and Senate approved budget bills for myriad state agencies and departments as part of the process of crafting a roughly $8.2 billion state budget.

As of Monday afternoon, both the Senate and House had passed budgets for the state agriculture and health and human services departments. The Senate also approved budgets for the state’s justice and public safety systems, and for the state transportation department.

Democrats in the minority in both chambers expressed some concerns with the myriad budget bills. For example, Democrats in the Senate said there is not sufficient funding in the state budget to address a shortage of child care workers.

ESPORTS BETTING: A provision that would have legalized betting on esports was removed from gambling legislation and will not pass the Legislature this session.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, said many lawmakers were weary against passing another significant gambling expansion, after having in 2019 approved legislation that legalized betting on sports in Iowa.

“I think that was a topic that made anti-gambling industry folks uncomfortable,” Kaufmann said. “Sports wagering (expansion) is pretty fresh.”

INMATE DIES: Norman Charles Wadsworth, 82, who was serving a 50-year sentence for second-degree murder from Polk County, died due to natural causes Thursday while in hospice at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. His sentence began Oct. 26, 2016.

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