Mississippi House passes eminent domain bill; could take initiative off ballot
JACKSON, Mississippi: The Mississippi House of Representatives on January 12, 2011 passed a bill that would ban the state government from taking private lands by eminent domain. The measure will now be sent to the Mississippi State Senate. If the measure passed by the senate and enacted, this would forgo a November vote on the issue. Currently, a citizen-initiated eminent domain amendment is scheduled for the November 2011 ballot. However, since the measure is an indirect initiated state statute, it would be taken off of the ballot if the current active bill in legislature is passed.
An indirect initiated state statute means that the proposed measure is citizen-initiated, through the collection of signatures. Once the signatures are collected, the proposed law is sent to that state's state legislature. Then, depending on the specific laws in that state, the state legislature typically can either choose:
- Not to act on the measure at all, in which case the measure is placed on the state's statewide ballot and the voters decide its fate.
- To pass the law as written by the group that initiated it.
- To amend and then pass the law.
- To come up with a law of its own addressing the same subject as the citizen-initiated measure and place that law on the ballot along with the citizen-initiated measure, allowing the state's voters to choose the version they prefer.