The following is a release from State Senator Mark Obenshain:
"This morning, I joined Governor Bob McDonnell for an eminent domain reform signing ceremony, where the Governor signed into law the bills putting the Virginia Property Rights Amendment on the ballot this fall.
For the past seven years I've fought for Virginians' property rights. After the Supreme Court decided the infamous Kelo case in 2005, I partnered with then-Senator Ken Cuccinelli to pass statutory changes to protect property rights here in Virginia.
But statutes don't have the permanence of a constitutional amendment, and something as important as property rights belongs in the Constitution of Virginia, which is why I patroned the Virginia Property Rights Amendment. It has taken seven years since the Kelo decision, but that amendment finally passed and will go before the voters this November.
The Property Rights Amendment will secure property rights against the whims of state and local governments, ensuring that private property can only be taken for legitimate public uses -- not for shopping centers or transfer to another private property owner in the name of economic development. And it will guarantee that when the government does take property, it actually provides "just compensation," taking into account lost profits and loss access.
You and I both know that it's just plain wrong for government to tell property owners that they are going to take their property and then transfer it to someone else who they believe has a "better" way to use it. If I want to continue to farm my property, my county shouldn't be able to take it and convey it to a shopping center developer just because that will generate more tax revenue. The Property Rights Amendment will stop these practices, but it will not prevent the taking or condemnation of property for real public uses like schools and roads."