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HOUSE BILL NO. 664
INTRODUCED BY H. HARPER
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS COMMISSION TO ACQUIRE CERTAIN ELIGIBLE LANDS FOR FISHING, HUNTING, GENERAL RECREATION, PUBLIC ACCESS, FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT, AND FLOOD CONTROL PURPOSES; RESTRICTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF ACQUIRED ELIGIBLE LANDS; PROVIDING THE COMMISSION WITH RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; CREATING AN ELIGIBLE LANDS SPECIAL REVENUE ACCOUNT; APPROPRIATING UP TO $3 MILLION FROM THE TAX REVENUE PROCEEDS OF ANY SALE OF ENERGY GENERATION ASSETS; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND A TERMINATION DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that:
(1) the restructuring of Montana's electricity supply market has provided a unique and timely opportunity for Montanans in preserving certain properties that have very important fishing, hunting, general recreation, public access, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood control values; and
(2) it is critical, given the uncertainty surrounding disposition of these properties, that a timely process be established to prioritize and acquire these properties for the benefit of all Montanans.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Definitions -- eligible land. For purposes of [sections 1 through 6], "eligible land" means a parcel of land that is owned by a public utility, cooperative, distribution services provider, energy supplier, or any entity owning energy generation facilities and that fulfills the following purposes:
(1) enhancement of hunting and fishing opportunities;
(2) conservation of fish and wildlife habitat;
(3) maintenance or enhancement of important traditional or intrinsic public access attributes;
(4) protection of public safety, including flood plain control; or
(5) preservation of historic amenities.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Acquisition of eligible land. (1) Subject to the limits of available appropriations, the commission is authorized to acquire an interest in eligible land by any lawful means, except as provided in subsection (2), including but not limited to:
(a) gift or donation;
(b) conservation easement;
(d) trade; or
(2) The commission may not use eminent domain or condemnation in acquiring eligible land.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Restriction on development of eligible land. Eligible land acquired under [sections 1 through 6] is protected from development that adversely affects purposes for which the eligible land was acquired unless legislative action is taken specifically authorizing development.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Commission duties and rulemaking authority. (1) Before the acquisition of any interest in eligible land, the commission shall by rule establish a policy for making acquisitions. With regard to any specific acquisition, the policy must provide for:
(a) an inventory of all eligible lands;
(b) an acquisition prioritization of eligible lands based on the highest and best use of each individual property;
(c) a comprehensive analysis of:
(i) any potential impacts to adjacent private land resulting from proposed management goals and plans to address the impacts;
(ii) any significant potential social and economic impacts to affected local governments and the state, including but not limited to impacts on:
(A) tax revenue available for the operation of taxing jurisdictions within the affected area;
(B) services required to be provided by local governments;
(C) employment opportunities within the affected area;
(D) local schools; and
(E) private businesses supplying goods and services to the affected area;
(d) a land maintenance program to control weeds and maintain roads and fences; and
(e) any other matter considered necessary or appropriate by the commission.
(2) The analysis made of any proposed acquisition must be made available to each owner of land adjacent to the property that is the subject of analysis and to any member of the public. A public hearing must be held in the affected area after the analysis has been made available to the public.
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Eligible land account. (1) There is an eligible land special revenue account within the state special revenue fund established in 17-2-102.
(2) There must be deposited in the account:
(a) legislatively appropriated tax revenue proceeds from the sale of any energy generation facility or asset; and
(b) money received by the department in the form of gifts, grants, reimbursements, or appropriations from any source intended to be used for the purposes of this account.
(3) The department may spend funds in the account only to carry out the provisions of [sections 1 through 6], including expenditures for land maintenance and weed control.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Appropriation. There is appropriated from the general fund to the department of fish, wildlife, and parks for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 an amount equal to the receipt of tax revenue proceeds resulting from the sale of any energy generation facility or asset up to a total of $3 million.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 6] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 87, chapter 1, part 2, and the provisions of Title 87, chapter 1, part 2, apply to [sections 1 through 6].
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
NEW SECTION. Section 10. Termination. [This act] terminates July 1, 2005.
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Latest Version of HB 664 (HB0664.01)
Processed for the Web on March 9, 1999 (4:35PM)
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