Senator Tim Grendel’s bill designed to muzzle the rabid eminent domain dog has passed by both houses of the Ohio legislature but has changed drastically by all accounts. We will be analyzing the passed version for changes but we suspect that local governments and developers have prevailed and gutted the bill of all meaningful protections for individual property rights.
Why do we suspect this, you may be asking? Because there was a House version of this bill as well which was essentially a paper tiger. It provided only minimal protection to the homeowner and unlike the Senate version contained no penalties for governments which attempted to strong arm property owners into selling property or outright seizing property that the government entity might want for such things as revenue enhancement and other vastly expanded seizures allowances for “public uses” which the Supreme Courts’s Kelo decision allowed. The Senate version passed there and went to the House where it was essentially mutilated in committee and passed on the House floor. It was sent back to the Senate for approval and passed in its greatly altered form without hardly a whimper of protest. All done very quickly with nearly no time for property rights activists to analyze the changes. It looks as though the “wheels were greased” by Senate leadership to make local governments happy. Not a good sign.
Very sad, if true. Watch for updates.