We've been closely tracking H.R. 1433 -- the "Private Property Rights Protection Action of 2011" -- a bill that would limit the power of eminent domain on a national platform. (See our August and April 2011 posts.) There hasn't been much action lately, but we finally saw some significant movement.
According to an article by Lawrence Hurley in the E&E Reporter, "House panel approves bill limiting federal eminent domain power," the House Judiciary Committee finally approved the bill by an overwhelming 23-5 vote. Now, the legislation will move its way to the House for approval.
As a quick refresher, H.R. 1433 would do the following:
- Prevent states and municipalities from using eminent domain for economic development purposes (such as redevelopment) if the agency receives federal economic development funds.
- Penalize any state or municipality that violates (1), above, by making the agency ineligible for federal economic development funds for 2 years.
- Prohibit the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development purposes.
- Allow for enforcement of these provisions by (i) a property owner or tenant subject to eminent domain or (ii) the attorney general.
- Prevent any state or federal agency from using eminent domain to acquire property of a religious or non-profit institution by reason of that entity's non-profit or tax exempt status, or any quality related thereto.
With the elimination of redevelopment agencies in California, the bill -- if ultimately passed by the House and Senate -- likely will not have much impact here. But for other states across the country, this is big news. We'll see if the momentum continues and let you know what happens next.
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.