Wednesday, May 25, 2011 3:33 pm | By Grant Morgan
Landowners and Activists groups have begun to organize opposition to the expansion of eminent domain power passed last week by the Montana State legislature. The new law, HB 198, permits privately-owned utilities to use eminent domain power and to condemn private property in order to build transmission lines. The law has been challenged in two court cases. The first case deals with a 214-mile-long transmission line for a wind farm in Northern Montana. The landowners initially won a ruling in December of 2008 that said that a private utility did not have the right to invoke eminent domain. However, that initial ruling occurred before the passage of the new law, which appears to overturn it. A second legal challenge, filed on Friday, contests the constitutionality of the expansion of eminent domain power.
PROTECT IP Act Introduced in the Senate
Friday, May 13, 2011 4:10 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek
Yesterday, Senators Leahy, Hatch, and Grassley introduced the PROTECT IP Act, a bill that would target “rogue sites” that facilitate and profit from the illegal distribution of intellectual property. This bill is a follow-up to Leahy’s COICA legislation, which passed unanimously out of committee last year but failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote. The legislation offered yesterday presents major improvements from COICA and generally lays out a more balanced approach to fighting online infringement.
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Billions Wasted Annually on Unused Property
Thursday, May 5, 2011 5:15 pm | By Katerina Bricker
Each year, billions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted due to property the federal government owns, but does not use. The U.S. government is currently the nation’s largest property owner, with assets estimated at more than 900,000 buildings and structures. There are approximately 14,000 buildings and structures that are designated as excess and thousands more that are underutilized.