MISSOURI — The governor has signed a new law designed to protect farm and ranch land targeted by utility expansion.

House bill 2005 increases the price an electric company must pay when they condemn agricultural land through the eminent domain process. The measure also ensures local representation during those proceedings.

The company must provide electricity to a certain percentage of the state, and take action within seven years of the contract.

“The eminent domain portion, that it’s 150% of the appraised value, is what you’re going with. And in any eminent domain condemnation type proceeding, the court sets up a commission from the local area. One of those three commissioners has to be someone in agriculture, a farmer,” said MO. SEN. Bill White, R.

House bill 2005 was prompted by the Grain Belt Express transmission project in Northern Missouri.

The new law takes effect at the end of August.