Democrat leaders have blocked legislation in the House designed to close a loophole in a 2006 law banning land condemnations for private gain. The law allows land to be condemned for lake projects that’re supposed to be for drinking water, but property rights advocates complain they’re being forced to sell their land for recreational lake projects.
Jeff Kauffman, a Republican from Muscatine, introduced the latest legislation on the issue. Kauffman says the legislature felt so strongly in 2006 that they overrode Governor Vilsack’s veto of the law. He says they overrode the veto of the governor to do the will of the people, but it wasn’t but two months later that people found loopholes in the law.
Kauffmann cited projects in a number of Iowa counties where developers are proceeding with their projects using loopholes in the law. "People’s homes, their small businesses, are under duress," Kauffman says, "I’m not asking for anything, anything new," Kauffman.
Kauffman says the only thing he wants is to plug the loopholes so the original intent of what the legislature did in 2006 stands. House Democrat leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines said the matter is being decided in the courts.