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House passes bill to limit use of eminent domain for economic development purposes


From the March 3, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 3, 2014

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R.1944) by a vote of 353-65. The legislation, which was authored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., would essentially bar use of eminent domain to take property for economic development purposes, but excludes takings for use by a utility. At the request of APPA and other electric trade associations, the legislation was amended to define "public utility" as all utilities providing electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water and wastewater services, either directly to the public or indirectly through provision of such services at the wholesale level for resale to the public.

The bill’s prohibition would apply to any state or political subdivision that receives federal economic development funds. The House has twice passed nearly identical legislation in previous sessions of Congress.
 

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Jeanne Wickline LaBella
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