Friday was day 38 of 40 in the Georgia legislative session, with Day 40 (Sine Die) scheduled for March 30th. We’re almost there! But unfortunately, there’s plenty to worry about in the meantime – like HB434, a dramatic expansion of the power of eminent domain that’s received very little public discussion despite its far reaching impacts. I’ll be talking about this on Greg Howard’s News & Views radio program this morning at 11:10am. Listen live here or tune into 107.1 FM in the northeast metro area.
Another Bad Bill: HB434 Lets Government Seize Private Property for Non-Public Use
HB434 would add a new section to the Official Code of Georgia, 22-1-15, that would re-define terms like “public use” and “economic development” while allowing the state expansive new powers to seize property and transfer it to private interests. When does “public use” mean something other than “use by the public”? When HB434 says so. It’s disguised as a method of dealing with “blight,” but provides no clear definition of what constitutes blight – so basically, if the government doesn’t like the look of your property, it can begin condemnation proceedings with the intention of giving that property to private developers. The House members who voted in favor of this bill have tried to justify it by saying that it’s meant to deal with “crack houses in Savannah,” but those limitations are nowhere to be found in the actual text of the bill.
This eminent domain expansion could be voted on by the Senate on Tuesday or Thursday, but we’ve still got a chance of stopping this sneaky attack on property rights by letting our senators know just dangerous this bill is. Please call and email your senator (list and contact information here) and tell them that Georgians want to protect property rights – government already has plenty of tools to seize private property if there is some danger to the community, and “a private developer wants the property instead and we can make more tax dollars that way” should NOT count as a danger to the community.
6th District Special Election
Georgia voters in the 6th Congressional District have an important special election coming up on April 18th, with advance voting beginning on Monday 3/27. Find more information about the candidates and upcoming events (including debates) here in my DeKalb Young Republicans email.
Summer Seminars with FEE
Do you have a 14-17 year old in need of an awesome summer activity? Check out the Foundation for Economic Education’s upcoming seminars in Brookhaven and Carrollton. Students will explore the economic way of thinking, world issues, and the entreprenuerial mindset in a fun environment, and scholarships are available for anyone who’s interested. Please share – the deadline for applications is March 31st.
Monday, April 17th, 7pm – DeKalb Young Republicans monthly meeting at Olde Blind Dog, 705 Town Blvd, Brookhaven GA 30319. Speaker: Senate District 40 State Senator Fran Millar. He’ll be going over the 2017 legislative session, so it’s a great time for questions and concerns.
Thanks for engaging with these important issues, so that together we can make our political world more reasonable and thoughtful.