The Clarion-Ledger, 2/11/9

Mississippians’ property rights would be strengthened by separate bills gaining momentum in the legislative session, despite an attempt to make it easier for private developers to acquire residents’ land.

Two bills that have cleared – one in the House and one in the Senate – restrict the use of eminent domain to direct public use, with a few exceptions. The legislation still has a long way to go before becoming law.

Unlike in years past, a final version appears to have a better chance of advancing to the governor’s desk before the 90-day session ends in April. But Gov. Haley Barbour reiterated his concerns after the Senate bill’s passage Tuesday.

Senate Bill 2230 cleared that chamber with no opposition. Senators spent much of the afternoon debating an attempt to exclude economic development projects from the legislation.