Governor wants eminent domain reigned in - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Governor wants eminent domain reigned in

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February 9, 2006

Albany -- On the same day a court battle began over Phoebe Putney seizing an elderly woman's home, the governor is calling for changes in the law that would prevent agencies like Phoebe from exercising eminent domain.

The Hospital Authority is condemning and seizing Julia Lemon's Fourth Avenue home to expand their employee's day care center. The Governor is proposing a bill to strip eminent domain powers from anyone other than elected officials.

Albany Attorney Marvin Mixon says that would dramatically reduce the number of private property seizures. "If they acquired property they would have to go through the open market to acquire it, or else change their plans to something else they could acquire.

Governor Sonny Perdue said, "The government's awesome power of eminent domain should be used sparingly, and never abused for private profit."

 The Governor also proposed a constitutional amendment rhat would prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development or to boost tax revenue. The changes in law will likely be too late, however, to block Phoebe from seizing the 93 year old woman's house.

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