Public service corporations; access to public records to exercise right of eminent domain. (HB1696)

Introduced By

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) with support from co-patron Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Public service corporations; access to public records. Makes a public service corporation subject to the public records provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act with respect to any project or activity for which it may exercise the power of eminent domain and has filed or prefiled for a certificate or other permitting document. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/12/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15103106D
01/12/2015Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/16/2015Impact statement from SCC (HB1696)
01/29/2015Tabled in Commerce and Labor

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB1166.


Megan Rhyne writes:

Public services corporations aren't subject to FOIA, generally, but this bill would make them subject to the law when they file for permits/certificates from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

I'm guessing this is a reaction to the Dominion proposal for a natural gas pipeline through Highland, Augusta and Nelson Counties (among others). Anyone know for sure?

Tom writes:

I know Dickie was contacted by many constituents about the pipeline, so this bill is most certainly a reaction to Dominion's heavy handed approach. This bill makes sense--if a private company is granted a power reserved for government, the company should be subject to the same constitutional limits and rules required of government officials.

Walter R. Embrey writes:

It only seems fair. There should be no hidden facts when someone is going to take your land for their purposes. Everything should be out in the open.

Mark Laity-Snyder writes:

This bill makes sense. We the public need to know the particulars involved in Eminent domain cases. With all the pipelines being planned, this will effect a lot of people. I urge the Delegates to vote for it.

Susan Baker writes:

I encourage the Delegates to approve this bill. I can't think of any good reasons why a private company/public service corporation should not comply with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. More transparency is called for. We the citizens have a right to be informed when our homes and lands are threatened and seized through eminent domanin.

Donald A. Masters writes:

Please include MWAA in this bill. They apparently were excluded from FOIA during the Kaine administration. They havbe been hiding behind this exclusion ever since. We need some Sunlight on this governmental agency.