Proposed eminent domain reform in NJ enters third year

Three's a charm.  New Jersey's promised eminent domain reform enters its third year after many iterations of the bill, passed by the Assembly in 2006, failed in the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in 2007, and reintroduced and referred on January 8 to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee as A1492.  The new eminent domain reform legislation (download the PDF) is the latest attempt by New Jersey legislators (sponsors John J. Burzichelli, Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Douglas H. Fisher,  and Pamela R. Lampitt) to amend the Local Redevelopment Housing Law (LRHL, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.). The companion bill introduced to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee is S559, sponsored by Senators Steven M. Sweeney, Barbara Buono, and Loretta Weinberg.

The public hearings, drafts of legislation, and testimony for interested parties on all sides of this contentious issue have continued without resolution.  Governor Corzine promised voters during his gubernatorial campaign in 2005 that eminent domain reform would be accomplished early in his administration.  Last year, at one of his public forums in Union Township, the governor said he would sign a bill by the fall of 2007.  The public is still waiting.

Note: Kevin Moore of Sills Cummis and William J. Ward of Carlin & Ward will discuss the current bill, its merits and shortcomings, and the status of eminent reform at the Eminent Domain in New Jersey  Lorman Education Seminar on April 17, 2008, in North Brunswick. For more information about the agenda, faculty, and continuing education credit, click here.