Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lampe Will File Bill to Overturn "Village Law"

State Rep. Sara Lampe will join other House Democrats in pre-filing a bill to repeal the controversial "village law" which paved the way for property owners in unincorporated areas to avoid county land laws.

The bill will also contain a provision to dissolve any village established under the statute as it currently exists.

For background on the Village Law, click HERE for our KY3 reports, as well as links to the Springfield News-Leader's coverage.

The News-Leader was the first to report that Speaker Rod Jetton was responsible for sneaking the provision into a large 352-page bill.

“An inherent flaw in our legislative process is that in the final days of the session scores of massive bills are pushed through that don’t receive the level of scrutiny they should,” said Lampe, D-Springfield. “Lawmakers place a great deal of trust in their colleagues to inform them of changes they make to legislation. In this case, Speaker Jetton violated that trust.”

“Contrary to Speaker Jetton’s claims, secretly changing state law to benefit a friend and political benefactor is a big deal,” Lampe said, referring to Jetton's ties to businessman Robert Plaster, who wants to incorporate his own village in Stone County.

House Dems are worried the legislation will carry statewide implications for landowners.

“If this law is allowed to stand, we could see an explosion in the number of new villages created,” said state Rep. Charlie Norr. “This statute turns the idea of local control on its head, allowing certain property owners to write laws to suit their own interests and leaving their neighbors powerless to object," Norr said.

By 3-0 vote on Tuesday, the Stone County Commission rejected Plaster’s petition of incorporation. His attorney, however, vowed to challenge the decision in court.

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