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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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House Finance Committee to Hear Testimony on Eminent Domain Bill
STATE HOUSE -- Representative Sherry Roberts (R-District 29 Coventry, West Greenwich) will testify before the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 8, 2017 on legislation (H-5852) she submitted to amend the eminent domain law.
Representative Roberts’ legislation would require approval by the general assembly to implement eminent domain proceedings for certain types of proposed development plans.
“Our state’s eminent domain law needs to be amended to protect homeowners and property owners. Under the current law, the state has far too much power to take land it wants, under the guise of using it for economic development. The state should never have carte blanche to seize property owned by a taxpaying resident of Rhode Island,” said Representative Roberts.
She added, “My legislation would require approval by the General Assembly to implement eminent domain proceedings for any proposed development plans where the building is larger than 2,000 square feet, costs more than $250,000.00, or proposes construction of any low or moderate income housing on real property where the state intends to acquire an interest therein.”
“Under my legislation, the state would require a comprehensive plan for the proposed development. It must also provide advanced notice to the owners of the property of potential taking and must provide the opportunity to sell the property for a negotiated, mutually agreed upon price. Also, under my legislation, no local government entity shall commence any eminent domain proceeding for economic development purposes unless the acquisition of the property by eminent domain has been approved by the city or town council. And, no state government entity shall implement any eminent domain proceeding for economic development purposes unless the acquisition of the property by eminent domain has been approved by an act by the General Assembly.”
“If all of these criteria are implemented, it will serve as an essential checks and balances system, which the state and property owners alike, will agree, is a fair and equitable process.”
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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