Property owners get protections from eminent domain under a bill now signed into law that supporters say balances property owners’ rights with economic development. Missouri has moved to address an issue brought to the forefront by the US Supreme Court ruling Kelo v New London, in which the court ruled that eminent domain could be used to clear the way for development that would yield greater tax revenue. Missouri lawmakers seek to tightly restrict the use of eminent domain through enactment of the new law. Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse endorses the changes which he says protect all property owners from unreasonable property seizures. Kruse says the new law will provide a model for the rest of the country. Representative Steve Hobbs (R-Mexico), the bill sponsor, says it took cooperation from many different groups to reach a compromise on a bill that would pass the legislature. Hobbs says many at the Capitol doubted it could be done. Senate sponsor, Chris Koster (R-Harrisonville), says the law requires property owners receive more than fair market value as just compensation for property seized. Koster says governments owe those sacrificing their property more than they would have had to pay previously. The main aspect of the law prohibits use of eminent domain solely for economic development purposes. It goes into effect August 28th.
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