Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Eminent Domain Bill Provides Little Change

The state's Senate has unanimously passed a new resolution regarding eminent domain, but is it anywhere close to the improvement needed? One notable change was providing property holders an extra 25 days to challenge condemnation, making for a grand total of 30 days to file a challenge. Yet, of all the various versions of the bill put forward, this version is the least restrictive in terms of limits on eminent domain.

However, one section seems to gut the entire idea of restrictions or reforms that were prompted nationwide over the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.

This bill also permits land acquired by eminent domain to be sold, leased, or otherwise transferred to another public or quasi-public entity, or to a private person, corporation, or other entity, so long as the transferring entity receives at least fair market value for the land."

That looks to me like a fairly enormous gap whereby government can take the property, following any number of "new" rules, and then sell the land to private developers anyway as long as they get a good price for the land.

The bill is listed under HB3450/SB3296 on the state General Assembly site.

Another resource for grassroots efforts to track how each state is reviewing the issue is Castle Coalition and is loaded with news and information.

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