Bill to block eminent domain not dead

NORWICH – A bill that could block the New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s ability to use eminent domain is not dead, legislators say, but rather tactfully awaiting release.

The bill, which awaits to seek approval from Governor George Pataki, would remove the power from certain types of energy companies to purchase private property at fair market value, without negotiating.

“We’re holding up on sending the legislation to the Governor’s Office,” said Senator Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton), a CO-sponsor of the bill. “We are still gathering resolutions of support from different localities. When we send the bill we want the Governor to understand that we have 100 percent support against this project.”

Libous said that since enormous pressure is being put on Pataki from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other downstate officials to veto the bill, upstate solidarity is essential.

In regards to the long time-span between the bill’s passage and subsequent fate with the Governor, bill CO-sponsor Senator James Seward (R-Milford) said, “That’s routinely how this works.” Seward explained that the influx of late session bills are dispersed to Pataki in small increments; with this one having no rush on it. “This bill is serving a great purpose keeping">NYRI unbalanced,” he said, expecting a decision on the bill sometime in the fall.

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