Governor Tom Vilsack says he will not sue to try to undo the property rights law legislators enacted earlier this month.
On Friday, July 14th the Iowa Legislature took the historic step of overriding Vilsack’s veto of a bill which restricts city and county government’s ability to seize private property for economic development projects. “I asked the Attorney General to tell me whether or not I have legal standing in this…and I got the answer (Thursday),” Vilsack says. “I have standing so long as I am the existing governor but it is unlikely that the case would be decided in the time that I have left as governor and so it really doesn’t make much sense for me to pursue it because I don’t have enough time left to do so.” Vilsack’s term as governor will expire in January.
Vilsack speculates that others may challenge the new law. “Municipalities (that) may be effected and impacted by the law still have the right to do so and may very well,” Vilsack says.
Legislators voted overwhelming to pass the bill earlier this summer and many were stunned by Vilsack’s veto in early June. The governor said the bill would hamper economic development and job creation efforts. Vilsack floated a compromise a few days before legislators convened in special session July 14th, but lawmakers again overwhelmingly voted to make the bill law — over Vilsack’s veto.