The Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill that will protect every Louisiana citizen’s right to be compensated when the government takes their property.
HB 1324 does two things. First, it requires the government to compensate landowners notwithstanding whether or not money has been appropriated for the taking. Second, it repeals restrictions on a landowner’s right to recover severance damages.
Why is this a good idea?
Because a landowner should not be prevented from receiving compensation for property taken by the government because a state agency has not appropriated sufficient money to pay for a project. Simply, if the Government is going to take a citizen’s property, shouldn’t they pay for it?
That is not the only fix this legislation will enact. HB 1324 also repeals restrictions on a landowner’s right to recover “severance damages.” Severance damages, which are regularly awarded by Louisiana courts when the government takes part of a landowner’s property, compensate a landowner for damage to their remaining property. For example, if when widening a road the government takes your driveway but leaves your house, HB 1324 would protect your right to recover the loss of value to your house because it no longer has a driveway.
Contact Your Legislators Today
The House Civil Law and Procedure Committee is scheduled to consider HB 1324 this Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 2. Please contact the members of this committee and ask them to support this bill, and if you can please attend the hearing.
Kevin Kane is the President of the The Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market and limited, accountable government. Through research papers, policy briefings, commentaries and conferences, the Institute seeks to educate and inform Louisiana’s policymakers, news media and general public.