Dutchess legislators unanimous on one thing, strictly limit eminent domain: Mid-Hudson (Newburgh NY) News Network, 9/26/05

Conservatives and liberals have found a common concern: the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that vastly broadened the powers of local governments to use eminent domain. No longer is it just for the traditional Constitutional provision limiting its use to essential public need. Now, local governments can confiscate property for use by private developers if some broad economic benefit is envisioned.

The Dutchess County Legislature unanimously went on record calling on the State Legislature to adopt statutory limitations on use of eminent domain by the state and local governments.

Even liberal Democrat Joel Tyner called that a good move. “I’m glad were making a statement that if eminent domain is going to happen, it’s going to be for the public good,” he said. “It’s not going to be a giveaway to powerful developers or well-moneyed private interests.”

Republican Marcus Molinaro suggested the Supreme Court decision could in time be reversed.

The resolution was drafted by Republican Shannon Martin LaFrance, who said it was important that the legislature reassure its citizens that “this county will not take private property to benefit other private property.”

Mid-Hudson News Network: www.midhudsonnews.com