Governor signs eminent domain bill
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Governor Christine Gregoire has signed a bill developed by a Peninsula lawmaker that seeks to prevent surprise condemnations by government agencies.
The eminent domain notification law was authored by State Representative Kevin Van de Wege of Sequim and would make sure private property owners would receive at least a 45-day notice if their property is being considered for condemnation.
Van de Wege says eminent domain, often used by governments in cases such as road building is a “contentious issue” but says “requiring proper notification is just common sense”. He hopes the measure will increase public trust and involvement.
Gov. Gregoire also signed two other Van De Wege bills into law Tuesday.
A program collecting data of timber harvests would have expired this year, but will continue until 2010 under Van De Wege’s legislation. People selling timber report data of the sales so the Department of Revenue can accurately calculate values and taxes.
The third measure allows the Quinault Tribe to enter into a timber excise tax compact, an agreement that increases tax revenue for the lands on the Quinault Reservation managed by the tribe, while still maintaining tax revenue for the counties.