The proposed eminent domain constitutional amendment is expected to come up in committee this week. Rep. Skip Stam, R-Wake, said it would come up in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning.
The proposal to be debated Wednesday would ad a new subsection to the N.C. Constitution. It would read:
“Private property shall not be taken by eminent domain except for a public use. Just compensation shall be paid and, if demanded, shall be determined by a jury.”
The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the General Assembly, would be place before the state’s voters for ratification in a Nov. 6, 2012, referendum.
The bill would also revise other statutes to specify that bodies in the state authorized to condemn private property can do so for “public use” instead of for “public use or benefit.”
The eminent domain proposed constitutional amendment is a response to the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo vs. New London decision in which the high court allowed a Connecticut town to condemn property for private economic development.
Stam has pushed to get a constitutional amendment out of the General Assembly ever since. Last fall, Republicans made passing an eminent domain constitutional amendment a part of their “100 Days that Will Change North Carolina” platform.