Bonacic: Senate Protects Property Owners' Rights

John J. Bonacic

May 05, 2006

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that two important pieces of legislation gained the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee and moved to the Senate floor to be voted on. Senate bills 5938 and 5961-A limit the use of eminent domain powers by private owners.

"Property owners should not live in fear of losing their property, often a lifelong investment, to another private owner for the others' own personal financial gain," stated Senator Bonacic. "The enactment of this legislation will alleviate those fears."

Senate bill 5938 clarifies that the exercise of eminent domain powers should be reserved for those public infrastructure and services purposes only. The bill will enhance oversight, and more fairly compensate those owners that have property taken for public uses.

Senate bill 5961-A amends the New York State Constitution and prohibits the transfer of private property to another private owner or for economic development purposes.

Senator Bonacic said both measures work together, one clarifying existing law, the other amending the Constitution, to allow eminent domain takings only when the taking is truly for public use and benefit, as well as ensure adequate compensation.

"The taking of private property for economic development purposes for the benefit of a private business is unconscionable. Government at any level should not be allowed to take private property and transfer the property to another private owner. That is why I sponsored these measures and will continue to fight for the rights of property owners," continued Senator Bonacic.