Great news: On July 23rd the House passed H.R. 1689, which was originally introduced in the House in March of 2017. Called the Property Protection Act to restore property rights destroyed by the Kelo decision, it was reintroduced and has passed the House by a wide margin.
Sponsor: Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. (Introduced 03/22/2017)
Committees: House – Judiciary
Latest Action: House – 07/23/2018 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Tracker: Passed House
This bill prohibits a state or political subdivision from exercising its power of eminent domain, or allowing the exercise of such power by delegation, over property to be used for economic development or over property that is used for economic development within seven years after that exercise, if the state or political subdivision receives federal economic development funds during any fiscal year in which the property is so used or intended to be used.
The bill also prohibits the federal government from exercising its power of eminent domain for economic development.
Private property owners or tenants suffering injury as a result of a violation of this bill may: (1) bring private actions, or (2) notify the Department of Justice (DOJ). DOJ must investigate notices of alleged violations, provide the government authority with 90 days to cure any violations that exist, and bring actions to enforce this bill if the government is still in violation after the 90-day period. DOJ must also intervene in private actions if necessary to enforce this bill.
The bill prohibits: (1) state immunity in federal or state court, and (2) actions from being brought after the statute of limitation period of seven years following the conclusion of any condemnation proceedings.
DOJ must disseminate to states and the public information on: (1) the rights of property owners and tenants under this bill, and (2) the federal laws under which federal economic development funds are distributed.
The bill prohibits the federal government, or a state or political subdivision receiving federal economic development funds during any fiscal year, from exercising the power of eminent domain over property of a religious or other nonprofit organization because of the organization's nonprofit or tax-exempt status or any related quality.
If a court determines that a violation of this bill has a disproportionately high impact on the poor or minorities, DOJ must make efforts to locate former owners and tenants to inform them of the violation and any possible remedies.