March 8, 2006

Eminent Domain Reform: Do We Have a Winner?

Carroll Andrew Morse

Representative Matthew McHugh’s (D-Charlestown/New Shoreham/South Kingstown/Westerly) bill on eminent domain reform (House bill 6725) will be considered by the House Finance Committee this Friday. H6725 is a strongly-worded ban against taking private residential property from one owner and giving it to a different private owner for “the purpose of improving tax revenue, expanding the tax base or for the sole purpose of promoting economic development”.

Given the high political profile of the backers of some of the other reform options that have been introduced, it is a tad surprising that Rep. McHugh’s bill is the first one out of the chute. H6725 does seem to get most of the job done, though it is not as detailed as the other reform bills.

The major area of possible concern is that H6725 does not protect private ownership of all properties; it only applies to residential ones.


I missed something. There is a bigger concern about this bill. It applies only to municipalities and not to the state...

Notwithstanding any other provision of the general or public laws to the contrary, no city or town, nor any political subdivision thereof shall exercise their power of eminent domain to acquire private residential property and then transfer it to a private developer for the purpose of improving tax revenue, expanding the tax base or for the sole purpose of promoting economic development.
For this to be a truly meaningful reform, the prohibitions in this bill need to be extended to the state level of government.

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I've said to before. It would be a great shame (although not surprising) to not protect private ownership of any property. How much more can RI make it unfriendly to do business in this state ? Why would I want to start a business, hire employees, and pay benefits when the state can take it away to give another private individual? We might as well as become state employees....oh wait....that's their plan !!!!

Posted by: TCC3 at March 8, 2006 1:22 PM

I love it! Laffey Started this debate and now the whole free world is on it. I remember him in the radio shows talking . He will not allow any NEHMEN DER EIGENSCHAFT (taking proberty). Let's go Laffey!!

Even Bounty Hunter realizes that!

by the way where is james?

He reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with the Kenny Rogers Roasters!! Kenny.... kenny....KENNY

Posted by: Ron Milton at March 8, 2006 5:47 PM

Yes Mr. Milton, bountyhunter does highly value personal property (especially his own). Simmered down to its essence, isn't the function of our government supposed to be limited to protecting our life, liberty and property from coercive activity, so that man can be fully unleashed to maximize his most productive talents and to then enjoy the fruits of his labor?

As constituted today, our government cannot even understand this most basic function.

Posted by: bountyhunter at March 8, 2006 7:26 PM