Virginia is one step closer to amending the state constitution to protect home and businesses owners from eminent domain abuse. Both the House and Senate passed resolutions overwhelmingly in support of the amendment—the House by a vote of 80-18, and the Senate by a vote of 23-17. The amendment will now head to voters for final approval in November 2012.
Back in 2006, the legislature acted swiftly to reform the state’s eminent domain laws in the wake of the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, but the reforms have not yet be solidified in the state constitution. Amendments are required to pass the legislature twice, with an intervening election between the two votes, before it can appear on the ballot. This week’s vote is the second time it has passed the legislature. If voters approve the amendment in the fall, the amendment will officially become part of the Virginia’s state constitution.