T he Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
MAY 7th 
 2015 Legislative Update  
Help Needed- ACT NOW !!
New Message along I-35 between Ames and Des Moines 

Important Update from The Board of Directors

As I promised I would update you as the bills move through the process at the Capitol.

The SSB 1276 was voted out of committee on Tuesday of this week.  As of this morning the bill has a NEW number - Senate File 506.  This bill will now move to the Senate Floor for debate.

Right now we need your help to write all members of the Senate.
This is a critical week and Senators need to understand this bill and how it will protect Iowa Landowners.

The House Government Oversight Committee has not met yet.  We anticipate that meeting to happen next week and are hopeful that HSB 249 will be voted out of committee.  We are expecting the bill will have the same language as SF 506.  We will keep you updated on that activity and will send another email asking you to contact representatives with this same information.   

Both bills require RICL to acquire 75 percent of the easements voluntarily to be granted eminent domain along with other protects for landowners. 

All if the information you need to help contact Senators is in this newsletter.
I cannot over emphasize how very very critical your help is and that we have limited time (1-2 weeks) to make a difference. 

Thank you very much!!!
Carolyn Sheridan 
Board of Director President 
On Behalf of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
Leg islative Update

Senate file 506 is being debated on the Senate Floor NOW!

Contact all Senators NOW! 

Call, Email or Write  members of the Senate and ask them to   support Senate File 506  bills with committee amendments.

To email  Senators - click here to be directed to Iowa Legislature Senate page which gives you  their  email address.
This page also provides phone numbers and mailing addresses: 

The bills in the Senate and the House do five things:
  • First, the bill requires that before these companies can be given the power of eminent domain, the agency in state government that is responsible for energy development - the Iowa Economic Development Authority - must recommend that the proposed project be built in its annual report under Iowa Code section 473.15.  This addresses the need for ongoing planning that is not currently met by our state law.
  • Second,it requires that before these companies can be given the power of eminent domain, they must acquire 75% of the land needed for a project through voluntary easements.
  • Third, it requires that the companies seeking voluntary easements are subject to the complaint and investigation authority of the Iowa Utilities Board in section 476.3(1).
  • Fourth, it increases the financial responsibility for crude oil pipeline projects from $250,000 total to $500,000 or more per county.
  • Fifthit provides additional landowner protections - including access to legal counsel if the board finds there is good cause to make the companies pay for legal counsel for affected landowners - to assist landowners who are facing eminent domain by companies which are not public utilities, which do not have a duty to serve Iowans, and which are not subject to ongoing supervision and planning by the Iowa Utilities Board.
What should you include in your  communication  with legislators?
  1. Your personal story and why you opposed to the misuse of eminent domain in general and for this project.
  2. Ask them to support Senate File 506 and any committee amendments 
  3. Key points you may consider adding. 
  • There are currently less than 15% voluntary easements signed in the entire state of Iowa. This is after 20 months of work by RICL land agents.  We do not see this changing. 

  • These bills provide guidance to the IUB in handling petitions by merchant transmission companies that request the right of eminent domain as part of their petition for a transmission franchise.

  • Eminent domain should not be used by a private company for private purposes to locate a "merchant transmission line" that will not provide any electricity to any Iowan.  We believe very strongly that allowing eminent domain to be used in such a situation is an abuse of the eminent domain process.

  • The proposed legislation does not prohibit the project, but does require the project to acquire 75 percent of the easements voluntarily to be granted eminent domain.  

IMPORTANT NOTE:  SF 506and HSB 249  also include language  that will impact pipelines and the use of eminent domain in the state of Iowa                                                     
To Monitor Activity ONLINE:   Go to the  Legislature Website: www.legisliowa.gov 

Watch live debate, find information about legislators, lobbyists and committee schedules.  

Updated Numbers 
Voluntary Easements:   Less than 15% 
There are 176 voluntary easements registered at county court houses in all 16 counties. The Alliance checks each county court house weekly to monitor these numbers. 
Objections:  1320 formal objections 
  Click to see table   with numbers in each county as of May 1st 
Legislatures Contact Information 

To call your legislator during session:
Representatives: 515.281.3221
Senators: 515.281.3371
Ask to be transferred to their desk.

To write your legislator during session:
(Legislator Name)
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

To email your legislator call the numbers above or visit the Iowa Legislative website: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/ 
Representatives: www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house
Senators:  www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate
Home addresses and phone numbers are available online. 
Or visit our website - Call to Action/Legislation Tab
 Visit our website for updated information


Our goal is to provide you with the information you need all in one location.  Weekly updates will help keep you informed of what is happening across the state and in your county.  The website provides a way for the Alliance to update you on a real time basis. 
Click here to visit website

 Web pages include:

  • General Information
  • Community Meetings
  • Publicity
  • Maps
  • Legal information
  • How to file your objection 
  • Eminent Domain
  • News
  • Governance
  • Call to Action
  • Letters
  • Contact Information
  • Photos
  • Links to other organizations
  • Health Informaton


Board of Directors
The Presevation of Rural Iowa Alliance
The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance has a Facebook page!
Like us on Facebook
Check out our page - add your post and photos - look for upcoming events - recommend us to your friends!