Curtailing Condemnations


The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously passed the Property Rights Protection Act, which Institute for Justice attorney Dana Berliner calls "the most comprehensive [eminent domain] reform bill in the country." It would forbid takings for economic development and tighten the state's loose definition of "blight," albeit with exceptions for already designated areas in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (exceptions that expire in seven years). Current law allows condemnation of property considered "economically or socially undesirable." The state House of Representatives passed a similar reform bill last month and is expected to approve the new version.