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Information about Eminent Domain, Public/Private Development and Open Government 

 

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Partial List of Eminent Domain bills in Georgia Legislature

In the box below you will find a partial list of the various eminent domain bills in the Georgia Legislature. While it is encouraging to see our elected officials addressing this very important issue, it is very hard to determine exactly what is going on.

It appears that there is quite a bit of positioning and posturing involved with many of these bills. This of course is the result of the public outcry after the recent Supreme Court decision. Many want to appear to be on the side of the citizens, but to do it in such a way as to preserve the loopholes.

The issue is quite simple, eminent domain should be used only as a last resort, and for true "public use" only - period. When Our Founding Fathers created the Constitution of 1787 they used the term "public." In the dictionary of the times this meant "NOT private."

There are four sections of the Georgia Constitution that have incorporated the fuzzy wording that allows abuse of the citizens property rights by overly "cozy" relationships between developers and elected officials.

HR-87 introduced prior to the Kelso Supreme Court decision would give the citizens of Georgia the ability to decide by placing a Constitutional Amendment on next November's ballot. If passed by the citizens all four loopholes would be closed.

To the best of our knowledge none of the other bills close all four loopholes! HR-87 sits in a House Committee, without public hearings, without any action and apparently any interest from your elected officials.

Apparently letting the citizens of Georgia decide for themselves if they want to close the loopholes does not fit the agenda of your elected State Representatives and Senators.

Perhaps you should ask yours why they are not supporting HR-87 and giving the citizens the option of closing the loopholes.

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Georgia

2005 GA S.B. 86
"In no event shall a public purpose be construed to include the exercise of eminent domain solely or primarily for the purpose of improving tax revenue or the tax base or the purpose of economic development"

Sponsored by: State Senator Jeff Chapman
 

Status: Introduced this past spring and passed the Senate, tabled in the House. Senator Chapman is considering filing a substitute with stronger language this session (see link).

2005 GA H.B. 943

See Bill Text

Specifies the purposes for which the power of eminent domain may be used to include transportation and utility purposes; to provide that eminent domain shall not be used for other governmental purposes and shall not be used for economic development or redevelopment; to provide for construction with other laws and construction in general; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Representative Tom Knox
 

Status: Prefiled November 17, 2005. Sent to House Committee on the Judiciary.

2005 GA H.R. 1037

See Bill Text

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution so as to specify the public purposes for which the power of eminent domain may be exercised under the authority of the State of Georgia and provide that economic development or redevelopment shall not constitute a public purpose for which private property may be acquired by eminent domain.

Sponsored by: State Representative Tom Knox
 

Status: Introduced January 9, 2006. Sent to House Committee on the Judiciary.
 

2005 GA H.B. 960

See Bill Text

Concerns the Urban Redevelopment Law; provides for a moratorium upon the exercise of the power of eminent domain for purposes of urban development; provides a statement of legislative findings and a statement of intent; provides for conflicts; provides for severability.

Sponsored by: State Representative Steve Davis

Status: Introduced January 9, 2006. Sent to House Committee on Judiciary. Favorably reported as substituted on January 13, 2006.
 

2005 GA H.B. 943

See Bill Text

Specifies the purposes for which the power of eminent domain may be used to include transportation and utility purposes; to provide that eminent domain shall not be used for other governmental purposes and shall not be used for economic development or redevelopment; to provide for construction with other laws and construction in general; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Representative Tom Knox
 

Status: Introduced January 9, 2006.
 

2005 GA S.B. 391

See Bill Text

Relates to urban redevelopment law; provides moratorium upon the exercise of power of eminent domain; makes exceptions.

Sponsored by: State Senator Jeff Chapman

Status: Passed Senate February 3, 2006.
 
2005 GA S.R. 652

See Bill Text

Constitutional amendment that limits the power to take private property through eminent domain so that it shall not be used for economic development, including an increase in tax revenue, tax base, employment, or general economic health, or for redevelopment; provides for related matters; provides for submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection.

Sponsored by: State Senator Jeff Chapman

Status: Introduced January 11, 2006, and sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
 
2005 GA H.R. 1036

See Bill Text

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to revise and clarify the provisions concerning the use of eminent domain; prohibits the use of eminent domain "solely or primarily for the purpose of improving tax revenue of the tax base of the state or a county, municipality, or other governmental entity of the state or the purpose of economic development."

Sponsored by: State Representative Tim Bearden

Status: Introduced January 9, 2006. Sent to House Committee on the Judiciary January 10, 2006.
 
2005 GA H.B. 218

See Bill Text

Relates to public records exempted from inspection by members of the general public; provides an exemption for certain records of an agency engaged in a program of economic development; provides for disclosure of such records under certain conditions; provides for related matters; provides an effective date; repeals conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Representative Billy Thorne

Status: Passed House February 9, 2005. Recommitted to Senate Committee on Rules January 9, 2006.

2005 GA H.B. 913

See Bill Text

Relates to general provisions applicable to eminent domain; changes the provisions relating to requirement of just compensation as a limitation on exercise of power of eminent domain; provides that interference with a property owner's exclusive rights includes interference with access rights incident to the property which may include but are not limited to any median or other interference creating increased circuit of travel.

Sponsored by: State Representative Carl Rogers

Status: Introduced March 31, 2005. House Second Readers on January 9, 2006.

2005 GA H.R. 1051

See Bill Text

A constitutional amendment that specifies the public purposes for which the power of eminent domain may be exercised under the authority of the state and provide that economic development or redevelopment shall not constitute a public purpose for which private property may be acquired by eminent domain.

Sponsored by: State Representative Judy Manning

Status: Introduced January 11, 2006, and sent to House Committee on the Judiciary.

2005 GA H.B. 1091

See Bill Text

Relates to general provisions relative to eminent domain, so as to provide that the state, any political subdivision of the state, and any public authority shall not give, loan, swap, rent, lease, or transfer an interest in real property acquired through exercise of the right of eminent domain to a private entity before granting the condemnee a right of first refusal; to provide for a penalty; to repeal conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Representative Len Walker

Status: Introduced January 24, 2006. To House Committee on the Judiciary January 25, 2006.
 
2005 GA H.R. 1112

See Bill Text

Constitutional amendment limiting the power to take private property for public purposes to only the state, counties, municipalities, consolidated governments, and public utilities and only for designated public purposes which do not include transferring condemned land to private entities for purposes of economic development and increasing the tax revenues of a government.

Sponsored by: State Representative Jeanette Jamieson

Status: Introduced January 24, 2006, and sent to House Committee on the Judiciary.

 
2005 GA S.B. 458

See Bill Text

Relates to eminent domain, so as to provide for nonbinding arbitration of proposed takings under certain circumstances; provides for the review of the legality of a proposed taking; provides for the stay of certain proceedings; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Senator Emanuel Jones

Status: Introduced January 26, 2006, and sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
 
2005 GA S.B. 459

See Bill Text

Relates to local government, so as to provide that county and municipal authorities with the power of eminent domain shall not exercise such power with regard to private property without first obtaining approval by the governing authority; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Senator Emanuel Jones

Status: Introduced January 26, 2006, and sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
 
2005 GA S.B. 460

See Bill Text

Relates to eminent domain, so as to require condemnors to negotiate in good faith; requires that special masters meet certain qualifications; permits the consideration of certain expenses and intangible values in ascertaining the proper amount of compensation for property; provides for the consideration by the condemnor of alternative sites and options; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws.

Sponsored by: State Senator Emanuel Jones

Status: Introduced January 26, 2006, and sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
 
2005 GA S.B. 461

See Bill Text

Relates to eminent domain, so as to require that condemnors provide the owner of the property sought to be condemned through the exercise of the power of eminent domain notice of the property owner's rights and a description of the condemnation process to be employed; provides for the contents of such notice; provides that the Department of Community Affairs shall promulgate such notice for use by condemnors.

Sponsored by: State Senator Emanuel Jones

Status: Introduced January 26, 2006, and sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
 
2005 GA H.B. 1313

See Bill Text

Relates to Eminent Domain; provides for comprehensive revision of provisions.

Sponsored by: State Representative Rich Golick

Status: Favorably reported as substituted from House Judiciary Committee February 28, 2006.

 
2005 GA S.R. 1040

See Bill Text

Provides for additional methods for the payment of just and adequate compensation with respect to the taking of private property; proposes an amendment to the Constitution.

Sponsored by: State Senator Chip Pearson

Status: Introduced March 1, 2006. Sent to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

 

 

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