Monday, March 27, 2006
Senate passes strong eminent domain measure
Atlanta, GA (Mar. 24) - Senator and Lt. Governor Candidate Casey Cagle took to the Senate floor today to continue leading the fight for passage of "The Landowner's Bill of Rights and Private Property Protection Act." Cagle also succeeded in winning support from the Senate to pass additional provisions he introduced strengthening the bill. This legislation -- a top priority of the Republican Senate majority-- represents one of the strongest statutes restricting the use of eminent domain and protecting the rights of private property owners in the entire nation. The Senate also authorized a Constitutional Amendment which would further limit the use of eminent domain if approved by the voters.Among other things, the new law would: Ban the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes. Prevent local governments from seizing private property without an open vote by the top governing authority. Limit government seizure of blighted property to only those cases where an immediate threat to public safety is posed. Give citizens much greater opportunity to be made aware of and voice their opinions on exercise of eminent domain. Improve the ability of owners to get a fair price for their property. "The U.S. Supreme Court may have fired the first shot in this battle with its disastrous decision in the Kelo case, but today's vote by our Republican Senate majority ensures it won't be the last. This legislation puts Georgia at the forefront of the entire country in protecting the rights of property owners. Strong private property rights are the core bedrock of our economic system, and we cannot do too much to protect them," said Cagle. Cagle also pledged to continue fighting to protect property rights, saying "As long as government has the power to exercise eminent domain, we need to continue working to ensure that power remains limited and property owners have a fair voice in the process. This is yet another step in what has been a long battle. We must remain vigilant in the future, and ratifying the Constitutional Amendment we also passed today is absolutely essential to that goal."