Bill S1925-2011

Creates a temporary commission on eminent domain; appropriation

Creates a temporary commission on eminent domain reform to examine, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the scope and effectiveness of eminent domain procedure laws and the use of such power by public entities; makes a $100,000 appropriation to fund such temporary commission.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 21, 2012: COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 4, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 31, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 30, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.950
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 14, 2011: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Meetings

Calendars

Votes

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1925

TITLE OF BILL: An act to provide for the creation of a temporary state commission to examine eminent domain laws and make recommendations for further reforms; and making an appropriation therefor

PURPOSE: The intent of this legislation is to establish a temporary commission on eminent domain reform to examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the scope and effectiveness of the eminent domain procedure law.

SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION: Section 1. 1. A temporary commission on eminent domain reform is hereby created to examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the scope and effectiveness of the eminent domain procedure law.

2. Defines specifics that the commission shall examine at least the following: (a) the appropriate constitutional standard for condemnation proceedings for economic development purposes; (b) the procedural fairness of the eminent domain procedure laws, including statutory definitions thereunder; (c) the need for the creation of an eminent domain ombudsman to serve as an independent office to safeguard the rights of property owners and provide information regarding the eminent domain procedure law; and (d) just compensation provided to affected property owners.

3. The commission shall consist of thirteen members. Seven members will be appointed by the governor, three shall be representatives of local governments and three shall be property rights advocates to be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the senate; two members to be appointed by the temporary president of the senate; two members to be appointed by the speaker of the assembly; one member to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; one member to be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly.

4. The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties there under.

5. The commission shall begin to act ninety days after the effective date of this act. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the commission entitled to vote on the matter under consideration.

Approval of any matter shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members voting thereon.

6. The commission may employ and at pleasure remove such personnel as it may deem necessary for the performance of its functions and fix their compensation within the amounts made available therefore.

7. The commission may meet within and without the state, shall hold public hearings, and shall have all the powers of a legislative committee pursuant to the legislative law.

8. The commission shall submit its findings and recommendations in a report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly not later than one year after it first convenes.

Section 2. Appropriates a minimum sum of one hundred thousand dollars to the commission to pay the costs incurred in carrying out its duties. Such moneys shall be payable out of the state treasury in the general fund to the credit of the state purposes account after audit by and on the warrant of the comptroller upon vouchers certified or approved by the chairperson or vice-chairperson of the commission as prescribed by law.

Section 3. Effective date.

EXISTING LAW: None.

JUSTIFICATION: The United States Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. The City of New London, enabled the City of New London to condemn and take private property by the use of eminent domain and transfer ownership to a private developer to further an economic development plan for the city. This decision has raised questions on whether legislative action should be taken in New York State to address to the Supreme Court's ruling.

In response to these questions and concerns, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Local Governments held hearings throughout the State on the issue of eminent domain. The statewide hearings were designed to assess the benefits and shortcomings of our current system with an eye towards a comprehensive eminent domain package that would balance the need to preserve a limited power of eminent domain for local governments with the demand to secure the rights of property owners.

Although each geographic region highlighted different concerns, two themes were consistent throughout the State. First, New York's eminent domain law is not significantly affected by the Supreme Court decision. Second, the State and its citizens would benefit from a more intensive evaluation of the technical issues within the eminent domain law to determine whether modifications are necessary.

This legislation addresses these issues by creating a temporary commission on eminent domain reform. The temporary commission on eminent domain reform will consist of experts familiar to both sides of the eminent domain issue, The commission will examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the Scope and effectiveness of the eminent domain procedure law. Particularly, this commission will further study issues that may require adjustment such as the definitions of "blight" and "public use," These issues are severely technical in

nature. Therefore, it is important that experts in this field carefully define key terms in order to prevent unintended consequences.

Economic development improves the lives of all New Yorkers by increasing the tax base, creating new jobs and improving the economy as a whole. Although eminent domain is a valuable economic development tool, protections are necessary to ensure that individuals are not stripped of their inalienable right to own property. Thus, this legislation makes some necessary changes to the compensation afforded to displaced property owners to assure a greater degree of fairness in the condemnation process. By creating a commission on eminent domain reform, this legislation carefully evaluates the eminent domain issue so that proper technical adjustments can be made in the future. We, as a State, have spent a great deal of time and resources making New York a better place to live and do business. We cannot act hastily with such an intricate and important issue. That is why, this legislation takes a pragmatic, but necessary, approach towards the overall goal of balancing the needs of our local governments with the rights of our citizens to own property.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-06: S.8390 - Passed Senate. 2007-08: Passed Senate. 2009: Referred to Finance 2010: Discharged from Finance; Committed to Corporations, Authorities and Commissions

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided further that the temporary state Commission established pursuant to subsection one of this act shall expire and be terminated on the first day next succeeding the date of the submission of its report as provided in subsection eight of section one of this act; and provided further, however that the chairperson of the temporary commission on eminent domain reform shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the submission of its report as provided for in subsection eight of section one of this act in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effecting the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1925 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ALESI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to provide for the creation of a temporary state commission to examine eminent domain laws and make recommendations for further reforms; and making an appropriation therefor THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. A temporary commission on eminent domain reform is hereby created to examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the scope and effectiveness of the eminent domain procedure law. 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature hereby finds and declares that eminent domain is an important tool for government to move forward on important public projects. However, there needs to be a thor- ough examination of the eminent domain procedure law to determine if any changes need to be made to current law to clarify the rights of property owners. There needs to be a balance between the needs of society and the constitutional power of government to exercise its eminent domain powers, and the constitutional liberty and property rights of the people. 2. A temporary state commission, to be known as the commission on eminent domain reform, hereinafter referred to as the commission, is hereby created to examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the scope and effectiveness of the eminent domain procedure law and the legislature's grant to certain public and other entities to exercise the power of eminent domain. Specifically the commission shall examine at least the following: (a) the appropriate constitutional standard for condemnation proceedings used for economic development purposes; (b) the procedural fairness of the eminent domain procedure laws, including statutory definitions thereunder;
(c) the need for the creation of an eminent domain ombudsman to serve as an independent office to safeguard the rights of property owners and provide information regarding the eminent domain procedure law; and (d) just compensation provided to affected property owners. 3. The commission shall consist of thirteen members, to be appointed as follows: seven members to be appointed by the governor; three of which shall be representatives of local governments and three shall be property rights advocates to be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the senate; two members to be appointed by the temporary president of the senate; two members to be appointed by the speaker of the assembly; one member to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; one member to be appointed by the minority leader of the assem- bly. The appointees shall have demonstrated expertise in the field of eminent domain law. The governor shall designate the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the commission. Vacancies in the membership of the commission and among its officers shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments or designations. The legislative leaders and the governor shall make his or her appointments no later than ninety days after the effective date of this act. If any such appointment is not made by such date, the appointing officer may make the appointment after such date, but the vacant appointment shall not count for calcu- lation of a quorum until it is filled. Vacancies in the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the member whose vacancy is being filled was appointed. 4. The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder. To the maximum extent feasible, the commission shall be entitled to request and receive and shall utilize and be provided with such facilities, resources, and data of any court, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof as it deems necessary or desirable to carry out properly its powers and duties here- under. 5. The commission shall begin to act ninety days after the effective date of this act. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the commission entitled to vote on the matter under consideration. Approval of any matter shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members voting thereon. 6. The commission may employ and at pleasure remove such personnel as it may deem necessary for the performance of its functions and fix their compensation within the amounts made available therefor. 7. The commission may meet within and without the state, shall hold public hearings, and shall have all the powers of a legislative commit- tee pursuant to the legislative law. 8. The commission shall submit its findings and recommendations in a report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly not later than one year after it first convenes. S 2. The sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to pay the expenses incurred, including personal service, in carrying out the provisions of subdivision six of section one of this act. Such moneys shall be payable out of the state treasury in the general fund to the credit of the state purposes account after audit by and on the warrant of the comptroller upon vouchers certified or approved by the chairperson or vice-chairper- son of the commission as prescribed by law.
S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided further that the temporary state commission established pursuant to section one of this act shall expire and be terminated on the first day next succeeding the date of the submission of its report as provided in subdivision eight of section one of this act; and provided further, however that the chair- person of the temporary commission on eminent domain reform shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the submission of its report as provided for in subdivision eight of section one of this act in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effec- tive data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effecting the provisions of section 44 of the legisla- tive law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.

Discuss!

blog comments powered by Disqus