Anti-Property Rights Bill Sent Back to Committee
The N.H. Senate has been considering SB 136, a bill that would require approval of federal land acquisitions by the Governor and Executive Council. The legislation proposes adding a cumbersome, and likely unconstitutional, local and state process to approve any land sale between a private property owner and a federal agency. It also expands the definition of what constitutes federal acquisitions to include not only fee title acquisition but also conservation easements.
On March 23, the Senate voted to “re-refer” the bill. This actions means the bill is sent back to the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee for further study. It cannot be brought back up for a vote this year. While we had urged the Senate to vote SB 136 as “Inexpedient to Legislate” (in other words kill the bill), we are grateful the Senate put the brakes on a bill that undermines conservation efforts in our state and fundamentally alters the value New Hampshire places on private property rights.
We are not expecting the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee to hold work sessions on the bill prior to this summer. We will continue to watch and update our members if needed.