The News & Observer
A House committee on Tuesday refused to consider a constitutional amendment that would ban the use of eminent domain for the sake of economic development, instead sending it to another committee.
Just weeks after approving a regular bill on the same issue, seven Democratic lawmakers decided in a partisan vote to move the constitutional provision to the more powerful rules committee.
"No reason has yet to be given as to why people should not be protected in the constitution," said Rep. Paul Stam, a Wake County Republican and the architect of the constitutional amendment.
Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat who is chairman of the House Rules Committee, called the constitutional amendment "done."
"We don't like to tinker with the constitution unless it's absolutely necessary," said Michaux, echoing the arguments of Democrats who changed their position in committee. "The changes in statutes that we already passed make the law very clear."
Michaux was referring to another eminent domain measure, which the House unanimously approved earlier in the month. But the Senate on Monday took the bill to the floor only to send it back to committee, with Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand asking about the proposal's purpose.
While Rand later said the bill will likely come to the floor before the end of the short session, Republicans fear the measure won't make it to the governor.
Yes a law was passed that patched NC eminent domain for a while. But anyone who follows NC politics knows how fast our leadership will change a law to fit thier current mood. An amendment to our state constitution is needed to truely protect property rights in NC. Put the issue before the people and let us decide what's best for us.