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Farm Bureau Applauds Court Decision

JACKSON – The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation was very pleased with the decision by Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd to allow the Eminent Domain Reform initiative to remain on the November 8 ballot. Farm Bureau President Randy Knight said that it is important to give the people the right to vote on this issue.

“For four years, the Legislature was unsuccessful in its attempt to pass an eminent domain reform law,” said Knight. “More than 120,000 Mississippians signed the petition to get this initiative on the ballot. It isn’t right for one person to try to stop it. Mississippians need to go to the polls on November 8 and vote YES on Initiative 31 to stop eminent domain abuse.”

Initiative 31 is designed to stop government from using eminent domain to take private property from one individual and turning it over to another private individual or company for economic development. Mississippi is one of only seven states that have not enacted laws to strengthen private property rights in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Kelo vs. the City of New London.

In that landmark decision in 2005, the Court held that if one private company or individual can make better use of a piece of property than the current owner, then it is legal for the government to use eminent domain to force the owner to sell his property to the developer.

“In theory, if a shopping center developer wants your property and he can convince the government that he will create more jobs and pay more taxes than you do, then you are going to lose your property,” said Knight. “That’s just not right. Private property is private."

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The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm organization with more than 197,000 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.org.

© 2007 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation