Davidson County lawmakers offer bill on eminent domain: Gallatin (TN) News Examiner, 7/19/05

Two Davidson County legislators want to make sure government bodies are forbidden from taking property from private owners to sell to developers.

The bill filed by state Rep. Ben West, D-Hermitage, and Sen. Joe Haynes, D-Goodlettsville, is in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows local governments to exercise "eminent domain" and take private property for public use.

"With this ruling, cities have a carte blanche to evict families and bulldoze homes to make way for shopping malls and corporate buildings," West said in a news release. "Our farmers, our families and our neighbors deserve better protection of their private property than this."

The legislation would clarify Tennessee's eminent domain law, West said.

If the General Assembly approves the bill next year, Tennessee would join at least eight other states who forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is to eliminate blight, West said. Those states are Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington, he said.

The bill is HB2426, and it can be read at www.legislature.state.tn.us.

News Examiner: www.gallatinnewsexaminer.com