Wednesday, February 15, 2006
On this day:

Legislature considers further limitations on eminent domain

You may remember that last year, Alabama became the first state to enact new restrictions on eminent domain in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision. The legislature now has an opportunity to go a step further, by expanding those protections and making them a part of the state constitution. From the AP:

The Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee voted 9-0 for a bill by Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, and 8-1 for two identical bills by Sen. Steve French, R-Birmingham, and Sen. Jack Biddle, R-Gardendale.

All of the bills are proposed constitutional amendments that go beyond the law the Legislature passed last year to restrict governments from using the power of eminent domain to take private property.

One of the differences between the bills is that the French and Biddle bills require a government to pay the landowner for the value of land at its highest and best use and to throw in money for relocation costs. Preuitt's bill does not.

The bills are SB 368 (French), SB 136 (Biddle), and SB 446 (Preuitt). They can be accessed online here. (Go to "Bills," then search by status.)