Bonacic: Senate Takes Nyri's Power Away

John J. Bonacic

June 23, 2006

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.8349a) sponsored by State Senator John Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope), which strips NYRI’s ability to use eminent domain under State Law.

"NYRI has promised their actions will raise our energy rates. It is absurd that our State policy would be to allow NYRI to raise our rates, scar our environment, and take our property. The Senate has now rejected that possibility. New Yorkers are already paying too much for energy. The people of our region don’t need the threat of eminent domain over their heads along with higher energy prices," Bonacic said.

Senator Bonacic began to battle NYRI in early May. At that time, he announced the creation of a legal defense fund to fight NYRI. Thereafter, several Republican State Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno came out against NYRI.

Bonacic said, in initially pledging to fight NYRI in May: "You are not taking on a few small towns and a couple of not for profit groups. You are taking on the Senate of the State of New York, and we don’t like what you are trying to do."

"I’m not sure NYRI believed me in May, but I bet they do now," Bonacic commented after the legislation’s passage.

NYRI representatives testified at a Senate hearing on Thursday, June 15, in Norwich, that they have filed as a Transportation Corporation under New York State Law and as such, will be able to use the power of eminent domain to make room for the construction of massive power lines. The bill approved in the Senate today, takes that power away from companies which have affirmatively represented, as NYRI has, that their project will raise rates in upstate New York.

The companion bill to Senator Bonacic's legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D - Endwell). "It is my hope that the Assembly takes up this important property owner's rights measure. We cannot allow big business to destroy those rights for their own greed," concluded Senator Bonacic.