One state lawmaker continues to push for strict legislative oversight of the UW Board of Regents’ power to condemn and acquire land under eminent domain. Milladore Democrat Amy Vruwink’s bill would ensure the board is accountable for its actions and the property acquisitions really are for the public good.
Vruwink’s bill would require the UW Board to get permission from the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee before seizing private property. There would be a public hearing and a three-fourths majority vote before the Board would be granted permission to condemn a property.
UW officials oppose the measure.
Regent Jeff Bartell says the bill would impair the UW’s ability to acquire property at fair market value to make room for new facilities. He says the Board is being singled out and restrained, while many other state and local agencies use their eminent domain powers more frequently without such oversight.
Bartell adds, state statutes already allow property owners to defend themselves through the judicial process.
The Committee on State Affairs and Homeland Security held a public hearing last week.
Jackie Johnson 1:37