Proposed Wisconsin Senate Bill 847 would take one step forward in fixing Wisconsin’s flawed statutes on eminent domain. Under current law, property that is deemed “blighted” can be forcibly taken and given to a private entity. SB 847 would restrict the definition of blighted.
However, the bill leaves untouched the most egregious abuse of eminent domain. Perfectly fine, no-blight-to-be-seen property can be taken from Wisconsin landowners and given to Enbridge, a private oil pipeline company. In 2015 Enbridge worked with the office of Assembly leader Robin Vos to change Wisconsin statute 32.02(13). The change made Enbridge’s business structure, a limited partnership, eligible to use eminent domain. Documents obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio showed Enbridge attorneys drafted the statute changes.