North Dakota

  • The strong constitutional amendment prohibits private ownership or use, ensuring property rights in the state.
  • Statutory reforms modify the Century Code to comply with new constitutional protections.

 

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50 State Report Card: Tracking Eminent Domain Reform Legislation since Kelo

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Current Abuses    Bills
     
  Ballot Measure 2
Sponsored by: citizen initiative
Status: Approved by voters on November 7, 2006.

Senate Bill 2214
Sponsored by: State Senators Stanley Lyson, Joel Heitkamp, and Aaron Krauter
Status: Signed into law on April 5, 2007.

     
     
Overview     
     

North Dakota didn’t even have a legislative session in 2006, yet it still managed to pass one of the nation’s strongest constitutional amendments because of the hard work of concerned citizens. A citizen initiative placed an amendment on the ballot that declared, “a public use or a public purpose does not include public benefits of economic development, including an increase in tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health. Private property shall not be taken for the use of, or ownership by, any private individual or entity, unless that property is necessary for conducting a common carrier or utility business.”

When this amendment was presented to voters during the November 2006 elections, it found overwhelming support. While North Dakota has not had nearly the problems with eminent domain abuse that have been characteristic in other states, residents can be proud that they have ensured the strongest possible protection for essential property rights. This state’s successful reforms are a shining example to all American citizens of what is possible when people resolve to stand up for their freedoms.

In 2007, Senate Bill 2214 was signed into law, amending the Century Code to reflect the changes made by Measure 2.