Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

Senate Republicans Score Victory on Property Rights

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Mon, 2011-02-21 19:00 -- ajohnston

Senate Republicans score major victory with Senate Approval of legislation to put Constitutional Amendment Protecting Property Rights before Voters in 2012

 Richmond, Va, 22 February 2011:  Two weeks ago, the Senate of Virginia defeated a motion to even consider legislation to allow Virginians to vote on a Constitutional Amendment limiting the eminent domain powers of government on a party-line vote of 18 to 22, with all Democratic Senators opposing the measure.

  Today, 17 Senate Democrats joined all 18 Republican Senators in approving House Joint Resolution 693 (HJ 693), legislation on a Constitutional Amendment that would protect the property rights of Virginians by placing restrictions on the eminent domain powers of government.

  The reversal came after the measure was approved by one-vote margins by both a subcommittee of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee and by the full committee.

     Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) declared, “Protecting the property rights of Virginians was a key component of the agenda announced by Governor McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bolling, Attorney General Cuccinelli and the Senate and House Republicans on January 11.  After having to attempt a rarely used discharge motion just to have the measure heard earlier in this session, today’s reversal is very gratifying.”

“This is a major victory for everyone who is committed to protecting the property rights of Virginians,” declared Senator Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg), Chairman of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus.  “It is also an important victory for Senate Republicans.  Our persistence and commitment have paid off, and today have resulted in the approval of an amendment that will strengthen the rights of all Virginians.”

“What a difference two weeks can make,” observed Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), who made the discharge motion that would have placed an eminent domain constitutional amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 307, before the Senate on February 8.  “The earlier 18-to-22 vote brought attention to this issue, and aided greatly in achieving this result.  Virginians won big today.”

“This is an extremely positive result for Virginia’s farming communities,” noted Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta).  “Even before the Kelo decision made this a national issue, leaders in rural communities and agribusiness were advocating measures to limit eminent domain.  The passage of this amendment is great news for rural Virginians.”