State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) opposes a recently filed piece of legislation (HB 5844) that would change the definition of ‘navigable waters’ based in part on the definition recognized by State or federal law set forth in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. This bill would overturn the Illinois Supreme Court ruling, Holm v. Kodat in June of this year.
“I am opposed to this bill as is the Illinois Farm Bureau. I agree with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that has expressed numerous concerns,” stated Rep. Adam Niemerg who represents the most agricultural district in the State of Illinois. “This is an attempt to overturn an Illinois Supreme Court ruling and will infringe on private property rights of farmers.”
Rep. Niemerg points out that similar legislation was passed a decade ago.
“Then-Governor Quinn vetoed similar legislation because lawsuits began piling up against the legality of the bill that declared that all waters within the waterway are open to the public for navigation and fishing,” Niemerg said. “Landowners sued for compensation from loss of exclusive access to their own property back in 2011 and there would be a flood of lawsuits again.”