January 9, 2006

Eminent Domain Reform Introduced to the Rhode Island House

Carroll Andrew Morse

State Representative Matthew McHugh (D-Charlestown/New Shoreham/South Kingstown/Westerly) has introduced a strong version of eminent domain reform to the Rhode Island House (House Bill 6725)…

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.
Rep. McHugh’s eminent domain reform proposal is much clearer than the eminent domain proposal introduced last session which carved out significant loopholes and left plenty of room for Kelo-style land seizures.

Representative McHugh’s bill is based on an ordinance passed on August 9, 2005 by the Charlestown Town Council. The Charlestown ordinance is, in turn, based on the eminent domain reform language created by Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey in response to the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.

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This is a step in the right direction. A good sign is that this was introduced by a Democrat albeit a dissident one, which shows this cause has bipartisan support. Once again, Laffey takes the lead on a issue.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at January 9, 2006 5:53 PM

I heard Laffey on the radio talking about this and I think he sent out a letter to every elected official against Kelo decision. He is the man for me. Tough. To the Point and willing to take on anyone and any lousy anti-taxpayer group that gets in his way.

What an ass-wipping he gave those x-guards. Can't wait till he wips some chafee ass, then some whitehouse or brown and then ted kennedy and Mr. Bird of kkk fame.

Laffey all the way.

Posted by: ron milton at January 9, 2006 8:31 PM

Ron, I love your enthusiasm! Hopefully you'll come out to campaign for Laffey like me, my neighbors and relatives are all going to do.

This eminent domain proposal is just one example of Steve Laffey taking the lead on issues that impact real people. He's a fighter for the people who knows how to win.

Everywhere I go, the soccer field, my daughters dance classes, at work or in the coffee shops, people are talking about how Laffey has the guts to fight for the people.

Posted by: roadrunner at January 9, 2006 9:11 PM

Laffey deserves a lot of credit for being on the right side of this issue early on and staying with it. The silence coming (or not coming) from the Chafee camp on this vital issue has been deafening.

I'm not so much concerned with who introduces a piece of legislation, as long as they are doing it. I'm glad that there are people in our legislature who want to do the right thing. We certainly could use more of them.

I'll echo everyone else here "Go, Laffey, Go!"

Posted by: Will at January 10, 2006 12:31 AM

yay! go laffey! woohoo! yippee!

crossing guards! boo!

yay laffey! crossing guards! special interests! whoopie!

please. if i hear once more about the crossing guards...CROSSING GUARDS! i think i might reintroduce myself with my lunch.

i mean seriously, how many fictional characters are supporting laffey anyway?

"everywhere i go from the soccer field, my daughter's dance classes, at work or in the coffee shops people are talking..."

COME ON! Mayor Laffey, is that you? What soccer field, let alone soccer fieldS are you going to in December and January anyway?

Just b.c you Laffey loonies fell for the mayor's schtick, doesn't mean that the rest of us are as easily fooled.

Posted by: james at January 10, 2006 1:43 PM

1, Laffey fired the Cranston crossing guards
2, Chafee gave the Warwick crossing guards free healthcare
3, Laffey takes a leadership role on eminent domain reform
4, Chafee takes no role on eminent domain reform

Return to Chafee base and try again.

Posted by: The Red Baron at January 10, 2006 9:33 PM

I met Mayor Laffey with my sister at my niece's soccer game last summer. He is so nice and personable. I met Chafee in 2000 and looked like he was afraid. He tilted his head like a puppy and I couldn't hear a word he was saying. I don't think he's really comfortable with ordinary people.

Laffey listens to people. He gets it.

Posted by: Cyndie at January 10, 2006 10:24 PM


You sound upset. If I were you I would take two Advil, sit down in your favorite comfy chair, kick off your shoes and calm down a bit.

Relax..... That’s it. See your going to be alright.

Now that I’ve calmed you down, let's talk.

Stay on the couch.

You are in denial. This is a common problem for lots of people in our progressive society. Things come at you so fast that you just can't keep up with it all. As your head starts to explode and you begin to break out in cold sweats, instead of looking reality square in the eye, you just deny reality. Don't worry, many others do the same thing.

I know this very nice little old lady who used to live down the street from me. She has the same problem you have. She still gets up every day and puts on her crossing guard uniform.

Face reality. The world is changing. People are tired of getting taxed into oblivion. Laffey is a catalyst for real change. The train is leaving the station. Get on board.

Posted by: Joe Mahn at January 10, 2006 11:03 PM

James, you can't handle the fact that the state is abuzz about Laffey and you really don't have too much good to say about Chafee. People are talking about Mayor Laffey all year round. Don't hear too much about Linc though, except for the occasional "does he know what he's doing?" or "he's in over his head!"

Posted by: roadrunner at January 10, 2006 11:04 PM

Crossing guards, crossing guards, crossing guards! CROSSING GUARDS, CROSSING GUARDS, CROSSING GUARDS! Get used to hearing it! (If your ears start bleeding, try using cotton balls)

It gets mentioned by Laffey so often because it's the type of common sense issue that the average Rhode Islander can easily relate to. It is an excellent example of what is wrong with government, and how a problem can be fixed with principled leadership. You ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Posted by: Will at January 11, 2006 12:46 AM