As the legislative season kicks into full gear, many states are working hard to undo the damage that the Supreme Court did in their Kelo decision. Here is a round up with links to what is happening across the country.
- West Virginia – Eminent domain bill heads back to House – The House of Delegates version of the bill would have prohibited governmental entities from taking private land and selling or leasing it to a private business for development. Three Senate committees have handled the bill since the House passed it. The bill now allows cities with urban renewal authorities to continue to declare an area blighted, but they must show each individual property in the area is blighted before they can force the property’s owner to sell.
- Alabama – Roy Moore leads rally against eminent domain – Gubernatorial candidate and former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore spoke out against government use of eminent domain at a rally in downtown Tuscaloosa Thursday.
- Colorado – Panel approves eminent domain limitations for toll road builders – the measure requires any proposed private toll road to go through the same environmental and public review process as any public roadway, complete with public alignment hearings. If condemnation of private land becomes necessary for that alignment, it would be done under the auspices of the Colorado Department of Transportation, rather than an 1877 law that gave that power directly to private toll road companies.
- Tennessee – Knoxville lawmaker proposes temporary elimination of eminent domain – Representative Stacey Campfield’s bill would temporarily stop the government from taking property by eminent domain and giving it to someone else. It is an idea the owner of one downtown Knoxville landmark is all for. The McClung warehouses are a first impression of downtown Knoxville. Its owner, Mark Saroff, says he wants to make it a better impression. But he is worried KCDC will take it away.