Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information
Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
Farm Bureau delivers Eminent Domain petitions to Secretary of State
JACKSON – The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation today delivered
more than 118,000 certified signatures to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann
so that the issue of eminent domain reform can be placed on the November
2011 ballot for the people of Mississippi to vote on.
After several failed attempts to get an eminent domain reform bill passed
in the legislature, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) decided
to go the initiative route and gathered the necessary signatures to allow
the people of Mississippi to speak on the issue of private property rights.
“For three years, Farm Bureau urged legislators to protect homeowners
and landowners from confiscation of their private property by eminent
domain, but to no avail,” said MFBF President David Waide. “The
2009 Legislature passed H.B. 803, which prohibited the taking of private
property under the guise of economic development for private development
or business. Both House and Senate passed the bill, but Governor Barbour
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City
of New London that a Connecticut city could take away people’s homes
and turn the property over to a private party to develop the property
for its own profit. The Court justified this result because the increased
tax revenue on the developed property would benefit the public and the
use of the property was, therefore, a public use.
Farm Bureau and many others disagree with this decision.
Since 2005, forty-four states have strengthened their private property
rights laws to keep property from being taken by eminent domain and used
for economic development. This initiative will give the people of Mississippi
the right to vote to ensure that eminent domain will be used only in the
traditional ways for public use such as roads, schools, and utilities.
Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm
organization with more than 204,000 member-families statewide. There
are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi
where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of
Mississippi 's economy.
Headquartered in Jackson
, the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural
organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.
For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.com.