/Lawmakers consider bill to ban taking private property for private use

Lawmakers consider bill to ban taking private property for private use

The legislation would make the 2011 constitutional amendment general law. Officials claim that the legislation is necessary because of a May 2021 court decision in which the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidated the medical marijuana initiative, which was approved by voters in November 2020. Some wonder if the 2011 eminent title resolution, which prevents private property being taken for the benefit of other private entities, could be declared unconstitutional. Lt. Governor said, “We felt that we had to make it clear before the Supreme Court that our legislative intent was to enforce the eminentdomain constitutional amendment as it has been voted on by citizens.” Delbert Hosemann is the Senate’s president. READ MORE: Mississippi Supreme Court rejects ballot initiative process. The Senate passed a rules suspension resolution which would allow the Legislature, to adopt a bill that would put into general law the same eminent-domain language approved by voters in 2011. The Supreme Court should not rule against the language if the Legislature acts. The House Rules Committee is currently considering the rules suspension resolution. Rob Roberson (R-Starkville), Rules Chair, stated that he is currently studying the legislation and will make an informed decision within the next few days after speaking with leadership about whether or not to send it to the full House. Because bills that would have dealt with the issue were passed earlier in the session, they did not reach key deadlines and required a rules suspension. To revive the issue of eminent domain, it will require a two-thirds vote in both chambers. Mississippi Farm Bureau was the sponsor and leader of the eminent domain initiative in 2011. This statewide group supports agriculture and farming interests. Farm Bureau became involved in the matter after a 2005 controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed local governments to seize private property and transfer it into other private entities, unless laws otherwise prohibited. Farm Bureau, which is a powerful lobby at state Capitol, supported the suspension of the rules. “The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, along with our 180,000 members, supports codifying in the Mississippi Code the provisions of the Mississippi Constitution, as long as it follows the Mississippi Constitution’s exact language. The statement stated that Mississippians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Initiative 31 in the November General Election in 2011. Farm Bureau continues, saying that they support a Mississippi law to protect private property rights. “We feel that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows local governments to seize private property owners using the eminent domain’ principle to transfer to other private entities should be against state laws.” The 2021 ruling of the state Supreme Court ruled that the whole initiative process was invalid. It stated that the required signatures of registered voters to place an issue onto the ballot must be collected equally from five congressional districts that existed in the 1990s. Due to the 2000 U.S. Census the state lost one of five congressional districts, rendering the entire process invalid. Only three voter initiatives were approved: eminent domain and a voter identification requirement. After the Supreme Court decision, the Legislature passed a law governing medical marijuana earlier in this session. The Legislature had previously made the voter identification requirement a general law in previous sessions. This means that it will not be affected by the Supreme Court ruling of 2021. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Eminent Domain has left unresolved the only successful ballot initiative. This session also includes legislation to address the issues found by the Supreme Court in the initiative process, so it can be restored.