Two Senators Compromise & Merge Their Bills
TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice, the Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on the agreement to merge his eminent domain legislation with Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney’s bill.
The measure, SCS-559/757, would tighten the use of eminent domain, would address concerns about the definition of property in need of redevelopment, would require fair compensation if eminent domain is the only option, and would maintain transparency during the process.
“For years I have been meeting with and listening to homeowners, the business community, non-profit organizations, representatives of local governments, environmentalists, and so many others to hear their side of the eminent domain argument. After much debate and compromise I feel that we have a fair and equitable bill to address the need to redevelop and the right of owners to keep their properties.”
“We need to understand that redevelopment is in the economic best interest of our State. In most cases, communities that have used eminent domain to redevelop have created new affordable housing and job opportunities. It would be a mistake to change the law in a way that makes the redevelopment process so cumbersome and expensive that towns become economically stagnant, unable to bring in new investors into their community.
“The vast majority of redevelopment projects in the State do not rely on the use of eminent domain, but if we ban the use of it outright, we will do a huge disservice to our State.”