Today the Senate finally passed HJ 693 (Joannou), the eminent domain constitutional amendment, 35 to 5. As I mentioned last week, this resolution is the first of many controversial bills to actually make it to the Senate floor.
It clarifies that if a Virginian owns property, that property should not be taken away from them for the use of individuals who don't have a true public need for that property. A public need includes roads, utilities, and other situations that are clearly the responsibility of state government.
This victory is only the first step towards passing this constitutional amendment. Next year's newly elected General Assembly will need to pass the exact same resolution during the 2012 session. After that vote, the amendment will move to a referendum on the ballot during the 2012 general election, so all citizens can have a say in the very important process of changing the constitution.
That all being said, today's passage was the hardest part and will go a long way towards securing stronger property rights for our Commonwealth.
Jeffrey L. McWaters
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Senator Jeffrey L. McWaters
General Assembly Building
Senate of Virginia
PO Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
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