Landowners ROFR bill sent to Governor Stitt

The Oklahoma legislature sent a ROFR or Right of First Refusal bill to Governor Kevin Stitt in the past week…but not a ROFR bill dealing with utilities and their large transmission line projects.

Instead, HB3159, authored by Oklahoma City Rep. Eric Roberts, focuses on giving landowners the right of first refusal in sales of land acquired through eminent domain.

“If the state acquires land via eminent domain from a landowner and subsequently decides to sell it publicly, it’s only fair that the original landowner has the right to repurchase the land before it is offered to anyone else,” Roberts said. “Eminent domain shouldn’t be used to transfer land from one private party to another.”

Before the state can publicly sell land acquired via eminent domain, the state must offer the land back to the original landowner or the first generation of heirs. If the landowner chooses to repurchase the land, the cost would be the lower of the current market value or the amount paid to the landowner when the land was taken.

Roberts extended his appreciation to the Legislature for its support, to Senator Todd Gollihare, R-Kellyville, for carrying the measure in the Senate, and to Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman, for her collaboration on the bill.

HB3159 passed the House 91 – 1 in March and passed the Senate 38 – 0 this past week. It now heads to the Governor’s desk for final consideration.