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Eminent Domain Debate Continues

September 29, 2005
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

A top DC attorney says Missouri should get out of the land business.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Debate on eminent domain heated up at a hearing on Thursday, with an attorney from the law firm that lost an eminent domain case in front of the U.S. Supreme court. The issue is the Supreme Court's decision to allow state governments to seize private property on behalf of developers. Developers say it's justified when their proposals benefit the community. Attorney Steve Anderson represents land owners and small business owners. Anderson says that definition is too vague.

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" Development has to occur as a result of private negotiation as opposed to public force. And hopefully a task force will recommend that.

Governor Blunt created an eminent domain task force last summer to examine the issue. Changing the state's laws would require a constitutional amendment.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland