The Legislature winds up its general session Wednesday.
It's been a wild session which started with the controversy of stripping the State Schools Supertintendent of her duties as head of the Education Department, to Tuesday night's victory for lottery supporters. But the Legislature went out like it came in with another high-profile bill.
Eminent domain, the Senate agreed with the House 20-10. Senate File 118 requires energy companies and many others using the power of eminent domain to condemn private property to pay a landowner's legal fees if the courts find they didn't offer a fair price for the land.
The bill that heads to the Governor requires the entity seeking to condemn land to pay the landowner's legal fees and other costs if a judge determined the fair market value of the land was at least 15 percent higher than the entity's final offer.
Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association says the bill could cause two things to happen. He predicts fewer lawsuits because condemnation laws will be clearer. Bruce Hinchey of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says just the opposite will happen because the bill takes away the judge's discresion to look at other factors of the condemnation. We asked former seven term representative Pete Illoway for his take on the session.
Illoway is lobbying, what he was doing before being elected to his first term in 1998. Legislative leaders have called a news conference for Thursday and on Friday we'll look at some of those wild bills that graced this session.