Difference between revisions of "Missouri Eminent Domain Reform Initiatives (2010)"

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===Motive behind lawsuit questioned===
 
===Motive behind lawsuit questioned===
On [[BC2009#December|December 14, 2009]] Missouri Citizens for Property Rights filed an audio recording of a [[BC2009#November|November 20]] meeting in which a lawyer for the firm representing the [[Missouri Municipal League]] was recorded as saying they were using the courts to delay the petition drive.<ref>[http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9334152 ''Associated Press'',"Motives in Mo. Eminent Domain Measure Scrutinized," December 14, 2009]</ref>
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On [[BC2009#December|December 14, 2009]] Missouri Citizens for Property Rights filed an audio recording of a [[BC2009#November|November 20]] meeting in which a lawyer, identified as Carrie Hermeling, for the firm representing the [[Sunshinereview:Missouri Municipal League|Missouri Municipal League]] was recorded as saying they were using the courts to delay the petition drive.
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According to the court filing, [[Missouri Citizens for Property Rights]] recorded the conversation using a pen with a built-in recorder. Hermeling, a partner with Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, was recorded as saying that the case was appealed "with the main objective being to delay the gathering of signatures, and hopefully we're accomplishing that."<ref>[http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9334152 ''Associated Press'',"Motives in Mo. Eminent Domain Measure Scrutinized," December 14, 2009]</ref>
  
 
==Path to the ballot==
 
==Path to the ballot==

Revision as of 10:22, 16 December 2009

Missouri Constitution
Flag of Missouri.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIII
Four Eminent Domain Reform Initiatives are approved for signature circulation in Missouri, heading for the November 2, 2010 ballot. Each is a citizen-initiated ballot initiative, proposed as an initiated constitutional amendment to the Missouri Constitution.[1]

Three of the initiatives (3A, 3B and 3C) are extremely similar and were filed by the same group, suggesting that only one of those will be used as the final version for petition circulation purposes.

  • A petition sample form for Version 2 was approved for circulation by the Missouri Secretary of State's office on December 15, 2008. The official ballot title was certified on January 6, 2009.
  • A petition sample form for Version 3A was approved for circulation on December 30, 2008, with the official ballot title certified on January 21, 2009.
  • A petition sample form for Version 3B was approved for circulation on December 30, 2008, with the official ballot title certified on January 21, 2009.
  • A petition sample form for Version 3D was approved for circulation on December 30, 2008, with the official ballot title certified on January 21, 2009.

Official ballot titles

Version 2

The official ballot title of Version 2 is:[2]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the power of the General Assembly and constitutionally chartered cities or counties to:
  • Prohibit the use of eminent domain to acquire and resell property found to be blighted, substandard or unsanitary for the purpose of clearance, redevelopment or rehabilitation; and
  • Allow them to require owners of property found to be a public nuisance to abate or clean up the nuisance and, if the property owner fails to do so in a reasonable time, allow the local government to pay for the abatement and impose a lien to recover the cost?

Fiscal impact estimate: According to the fiscal estimate produced by election officials, "The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, some state governmental entities may have unknown or indirect costs. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities will vary, but could be significant."

Version 3A

The official ballot title of Version 3A is:[3]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to restrict the use of eminent domain by:
  • Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain;
  • Prohibiting its use for private purposes, with certain exceptions for utilities;
  • Requiring that any taking of property be necessary for a public use and that landowners receive just compensation;
  • Requiring that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking; and
  • Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not so used within five years or if the property is offered to a private entity within 20 years?

Fiscal impact estimate: The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, some state governmental entities may have indirect costs or unknown costs that may exceed $100,000. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

Version 3B

The official ballot title of Version 3B is:[4]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to restrict the use of eminent domain by:
* Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain;
* Prohibiting its use for private purposes, with certain exceptions for utilities;
* Requiring that any taking of property be necessary for a public use and that landowners receive just compensation;
* Requiring that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking; and
* Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not so used within five years or if the property is offered to a private entity within 20 years?

Fiscal impact estimate: The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, some state governmental entities may have indirect costs or unknown costs that may exceed $100,000. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

Version 3D

The official ballot title of Version 3D is:[5]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to restrict the use of eminent domain by:
* Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain;
* Prohibiting its use for private purposes, with certain exceptions for utilities;
* Requiring that any taking of property be necessary for a public use and that landowners receive just compensation;
* Requiring that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking; and
* Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not so used within five years or if the property is offered to a private entity within 20 years?

Fiscal impact estimate: The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, some state governmental entities may have indirect costs or unknown costs that may exceed $100,000. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

Background

Two similar initiatives were circulated for the 2008 ballot, but did not collect sufficient signatures:

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Missouri Eminent Domain Initiative Amendment to Article I (2008)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Missouri Eminent Domain Initiative Amendment to Article VI (2008)

Lawsuits

The Missouri Municipal League filed two lawsuits in January 2009 arguing that the fiscal impact statements prepared by the state auditor and the ballot language approved by the Missouri Secretary of State are misleading. In particular, the Missouri Municipal League believes that the fiscal note prepared by the state auditor is wrong because it underestimates the costs on cities.[6]

Because of the lawsuits, Missouri Citizens for Property Rights is holding off on collecting signatures.

According to Ron Calzone, president of Missouri Citizens for Property Rights, "It's their [the Missouri Municipal League] goal to tie us up in court as long as they can to limit the amount of time we have to collect signatures. The frustrating thing about it is that the Missouri Municipal League is funded by cities, so the very cities that are abusing eminent domain power are using taxpayer money to keep this off the ballot and squelch the taxpayer."[7]

Motive behind lawsuit questioned

On December 14, 2009 Missouri Citizens for Property Rights filed an audio recording of a November 20 meeting in which a lawyer, identified as Carrie Hermeling, for the firm representing the Missouri Municipal League was recorded as saying they were using the courts to delay the petition drive.

According to the court filing, Missouri Citizens for Property Rights recorded the conversation using a pen with a built-in recorder. Hermeling, a partner with Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, was recorded as saying that the case was appealed "with the main objective being to delay the gathering of signatures, and hopefully we're accomplishing that."[8]

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot, each initiative requires signatures from registered voters equal to 8% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts. Petition signatures are due by May 2, 2010.

The sponsor of all four initiatives is:

Ron Calzone
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights
33867 Highway E
Dixon, MO 65459

See also

External links

References