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ACTION REQUEST: Telecommunications & Property Rights

Don’t let telecommunications companies take your property rights!  Call your State Senator and adopted State Senator now!

SB 2237 would allow telecommunications companies to install their cable and equipment in road rights-of-way when the underlying land is privately owned if the landowner has not paid property taxes for the previous two years.  Most landowners do not pay property taxes on the road right-of-way because it is not considered productive agricultural land.

However, Illinois courts have held that easements for road rights-of-way are exclusively for road purposes.  An easement from landowners is currently required to be sought by telecommunications companies prior to installing cable or equipment in these road rights-of-way.

Allowing telecommunications companies to install their equipment in the non-public road right-of-way when the land underlying it is privately owned without requiring an easement for the use of the land is an unconstitutional taking of the landowner’s property. 

Other utility companies, such as pipeline and electric transmission line companies, negotiate easement agreements with landowners prior to construction and installation of their projects.  Telecommunications companies are currently required to negotiate an easement as well, but in many cases do not.

The Illinois Farm Bureau attempted to negotiate a reasonable alternative.  However, any bill that does not include a a process for providing fair compensation is a taking of property rights and is unconstitutional.  One of our organization’s core principals is the protection of property rights, so we must oppose this legislation as currently drafted.

SB 2237 passed the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.  It may be called by the full Senate very soon.

Please call your State Senator and adopted State Senator and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 2237!

Call 1-877-422-8424 to be connected to your Senator or click here.

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