There is no question this November will mark history. In every level of government, we have important elections that will determine the direction of our country for years to come.
As residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we also have the opportunity to accomplish something that evaded our founding fathers more than 200 years ago.
Question One on the ballot is the Eminent Domain Amendment. This amendment is about putting an affirmative definition around what constitutes a taking of private property under eminent domain. This amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia makes three points clear.
First, the amendment specifies eminent domain cannot be used unless it's for a true “public use” and specifies government cannot seize more land than necessary. Second, it defines just compensation. Not only are property owners compensated for the loss, but they have opportunity for lost access and profits.
The third and final point is it puts the burden of proof on the entity doing the taking that the property is needed for "public use."
These are the three key points for the amendment. However, I urge all voters to read the legislation for themselves at www.lis. virginia.gov and search for “HJ3” and “SJ3.”
As Wayne Pryor, president of Virginia Farm Bureau said, “Our members are excited about the opportunity that this constitutional amendment will provide. No longer will our farms, homes or businesses be taken and given to another private property owner under Kelo-type eminent domain abuses.”
Many on both sides of the aisle talk about our rights as citizens of this great republic. We have the opportunity to accomplish what evaded Patrick Henry and James Madison. We get to expand our rights and protect our property. Vote yes for Question One.
Del. Michael Webert (R-Dist. 18)