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Senate acts on Eminent Domain

May 2, 2006
By: Dan Frumson
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri Senate approved legislation on eminent domain, a plan similar to what the House of Representatives already passed. Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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With great detail, the Missouri Senate sculpted and polished eminent domain.

The bill protects non-for-profit organizations, like churches and veterans groups from condemnation.

The bill also protects houses that have been in the same family's name for at least 50 years.

The bill's sponsor Republican Chris Koster of Western Missouri received praise on the Senate floor for negotiating a compromise between competing special interest groups.

However, Senator Koster was quick to shift the glory to his colleague from the House.

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"Finally I want to thank publicly Representative Hobbs for letting me participate, the honour of letting me participate in this process. And again he's the one who deserves the credit on this agreement. He was the guy who ran the ball 98 yards down the field, and that was the big play. With that, I close."

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At the end of a long day of perfecting the bill, one Senate Republican gave the body a scare with his mostly negative speech, as if there would be a filibuster.

Senator Chuck Gross of St. Charles said the bill hinders the property rights of Missourians.

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"These rights are known as the `Bundle of Rights', and they include the right to sell, the right to lease or rent, the right to enter or leave, the right to give away, and then finally, the right to refuse. Well they no longer have the right to refuse, because the government hand has taken away that right."

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Most legislators expect the bill to pass on Wednesday, after a last hearing for the bill at the Senate Fiscal Oversight Committee.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.