Jan 11, 2009

SB 031 - Eminent Domain for Local Ports

SYNOPSIS: Local port authority eminent domain procedures. Repeals a provision that prohibits a port authority in East Chicago or Hammond from exercising the right of eminent domain in the same manner that all other local port authorities may exercise the right of eminent domain.

STRONGLY OPPOSE: This bill sheds light on the loopholes allowed in the heralded 2006 eminent domain legislation authored by Rep. Wolkins. It was made clear in the sessions since the legislation became law, that the public was duped by legislators. Exempted in the original legislation were the ports and certified technology parks. In last year's session, the legislature created "Inland Ports" circumventing eminent domain law by allowing the creation of inland ports for the purpose of giving private developers the rights to develop third-party private property.

Partner legislation went so far as to allow non-elected economic development officials to negotiate away third party private property with developers in private, with the actual landowner not having knowledge nor being privy to the terms of the sale of his/her own land.

Apparently one port was left out of the mix and this piece of legislation attempts to correct that oversight. The better option is to undo the expansive port authority powers in the State and bring the other ports in line with this one.

STATUS: Authored by Sen. Mrvan, referred to Committee on Commerce and Public Policy & Interstate Cooperation.

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