Bipartisan House Team Introduces Eminent Domain Bill: Wisconsin Ag Connection, 2/28/07

Despite a false start in the last Congress, a bipartisan team in the House reintroduced a bill to withhold federal funds to municipalities that seize private property for business.

Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) hope that H.R. 926 will be a disincentive for local governments to use eminent domain for economic revitalization. The 2005 Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs. New London has received criticism from a broad coalition of property rights advocates and civil rights activists who have worked to push through state restrictions on eminent domain in 40 states.

According to the House bill, any property owner could sue the local government in federal court to prevent the seizure.

A similar bill was recently introduced in the Senate (S. 48) that will require any political entity who applies for federal funds to certify that the money will not go towards eminent-domain-for-economic-development actions.

Goodlatte emphasized that the bill is necessary to protect homes, farms and businesses from "abusive land grabs."

Wisconsin Ag Connection: http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com