Illinois Eminent Domain Abuse to be Curbed

Another win for libertarians as Illinois passed legislation to take effect January 1st which will effectively kill “bogus blight” and will make it more difficult for cities and other local governments to seize private property for private development. From My Web Times:

State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he believed Illinois law was already stringent concerning eminent domain.

But he said the new law strengthens the balance between private property owners and the public good.

And State Sen. Gary Dahl, R-Peru, also praised the law.

“Before, municipalities could use eminent domain as a hammer against private property owners in negotiations,” said Dahl. “But now that hammer is a lot smaller.”

Steven Anderson, an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based libertarian public interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, described the Illinois law as “a good start.”

He praised the law for prohibiting the seizure of farm land for economic development and for requiring cities to prove blight.

No doubt the land grabbers will still try and use other under-handed tactics to steal land out from their rightful owners, but at least we’re making headway in tying the hands of local government a little.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Hopefully this will apply to the “home rule” city of Chicago too. I guess Richard M. Daley would just demolish the building anyway if it was illegal. This is something his administration has done. People have found their buildings demolished by the city with no notice. He did this as part of his beautification projects leading up to the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Some have come home to find their house under demolition.

  2. It’s a small step and didn’t go nearly far enough. It just shifts some eminent domain power from local government to the state government. That way, the General Assembly members will get more of the donations from developers. We needed a law that at least completely forbids everyone from taking private property to give to business. I think Alabama’s law was a lot better.