Eminent Domain

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A House committee has approved a bill that says cities and counties can't condemn private property to use it for a private development, like a shopping center or an industrial plant.

The House Committee on Municipal and County Government approved on a voice vote today the bill that was a reaction to a recent US Supreme Court decision that said cities could use the power of eminent domain to obtain private property for commercial development.

The bill was on Governor Riley's agenda for the special session of the Legislature that started yesterday.

A sponsor of the legislation, Representative Richard Lindsey, says the bill will become law immediately if passed during the session. He says he believes it addresses the concerns of Alabama citizens who were upset by the Supreme Court ruling.

But during a public hearing, several speakers said they did not feel the bill went far enough to protect citizens property.

The bill is expected to be debated by the full House tomorrow.