Governor To Sign Public Land Sale Bill For Powerline Expansions

The state Senate sent the governor a bill Thursday that would force local leaders to sell public land to utilities for power line routes.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill 27-6 after the Assembly approved it last week.

Governor Doyle, a Democrat, has said he supports the measure.

But Senate Democrats from northern Wisconsin, where a company plans to build a 420 million dollar high-voltage power line, blasted it.

They say it will allow utilities to buy up any public land they want -- even parts of state parks.

But some Democrats sided with Republicans because of their insistence that the state needs more electricity.

Utilities and municipalities would have 180 days to reach a price for the land or the issue would go to arbitration.