Maryland

  • Condemnation authorization expires after four years.
  • Increased compensation provisions.
50 State Report Card 50 State Report Card Grade

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

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Read: Maryland Chapter
Read: Entire Report

Current Abuses Bills
Senate Bill 3
Sponsored by: State Senator James DeGrange
Status: Signed into law on May 8, 2007.

Overview

Maryland legislators filed more than 40 bills addressing eminent domain during the 2006 session. Legislation banning the use of eminent domain for economic development reached the floors of both chambers. However, when property rights advocates attempted to amend the bills to create legislation that offered real reform, the measures stalled and the General Assembly adjourned without passing any eminent domain reform.

In 2007, very few bills addressed eminent domain reform, and even fewer received a committee hearing. The only bill that passed was Senate Bill 3, which requires condemners to proceed within four years of authorization or the authorization expires. Additionally, the bill raises caps on various compensation arrangements.

An expiration on condemnation authorizations may reduce speculative and unnecessary condemnations, as well as help property owners avoid years of uncertainty surrounding a proposed project. However, Maryland needs much tougher reform, including stronger property rights protections in the state constitution.