Legislative bills level the financial playing-field


Senate Bills (SB 100 & 101) were introduce this fall by Senator Tom Casperson. At present they have passed the Senate and are in the House. These bills named “Equal Justice in Government” or as we like to call them “Loser Pays.” These bills tip the scales of justice for private landowners/citizens equal to that of the state, in other words, if a state agency (DEQ, DNR, MDA, etc.) say that the landowner/citizen committed a violation of state law or administrative rule and the landowner/citizen goes to court to prove that he or she is not guilty and wins, the state is responsible for their court costs. Now most landowners/citizens knuckle under, pay the fine and do whatever the agency tells them to do as far as corrective action because the court battle is too expensive. These bills level the financial playing-field.

Senate Bills (SB 652, 653 & 654) were introduced at the end of January 2018 by Senator Casperson. At present they now move to the house for consideration. These bills if passed, would create an oversight committee of the DEQ. This 11-member committee would be appointed by the Governor and used to review complaints, potential lawsuits, denied permit applications, etc. that the landowner/citizen would file with them for a hearing before proceeding with litigation. If approved, these bills would give landowners/citizens one more way of receiving fair and unbiased treatment (a so-called neutral third party review of laws, rules and protocol) when applying for permits or conducting/constructing environmental projects. These bills level the technical and/or biased playing-field.

Thank you Senator Casperson for protecting and putting the average citizen on an equal playing-field with state government through true justice and transparency for all.

Rory Mattson

Delta Conservation District