By Bob Katzen

This bill would prohibit private property from being taken by the government for private commercial enterprise, economic development or any other private use without the consent of the owner. A similar measure was originally filed in 2005 as a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows communities to seize private homes and businesses solely for commercial purposes. The ruling also allows states to establish laws prohibiting the practice.

“The right to own property is a basic principle of the commonwealth and it is one that I feel strongly should be upheld,” said the proposal’s sponsor House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading). “The government should never have the power to make value judgments with respect to private property. This proposed amendment would protect property owners by explicitly affirming that economic development and private commercial uses do not constitute acceptable public uses for the purpose of eminent domain takings in the commonwealth.”

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