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You may have missed it last week, but it was startling news: The Legislature could very well do something good for the people this year.
Okay, so it's not as pressing as carrying a gun on a playground
or messing with pregnant women
. But the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to strengthen the rules on eminent domain. Instead of letting obscure bureaucrats decide whether to take private land, the bill would force a vote by either a city council or county government.
Though eminent domain began as the seizing of private property for public good -- to build a school, for example -- it's morphed into allowing developers to pretty much take whatever they want. The new rule wouldn't preclude anyone from being forced to sell, but it would make the process harder and more open.
More shocking is that the bill doesn't exclusively cater to crazy people
or rich guys
, which seems to be the legislature's sole constituency this session.