Through the grassroots efforts of small landowners threatened by condemnation and the work of organizations such as the Wisconsin Realtors Association, as well as many others, anti-landowner provisions inserted into the Wisconsin State budget have been removed. The provisions would have revoked important rights of small landowners who face condemnation by making it impractical or impossible to stand up to the scorched-earth tactics employed by condemners who seem to have unlimited budgets for battling landowners (see previous blog post).
Under current law, which has been preserved, many small landowners with strong cases for more compensation have been able to withstand efforts by condemners to win by “spending the landowner into the ground,” and condemners have been encouraged to settle cases.
The budge provisions, addressed in more detail in our previous blog post, had been added to the state budget during a late night session of the Joint Finance Committee. The change was sought by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and American Transmission Company (ATC).
These landowners’ rights, which special interests regularly attack through proposed amendments to the state budget, are, we hope, safe for at couple of more years.