From Site Selection magazine, November 2005

Always In Session
Actions in legal chambers, reactions in legislative chambers.



n legislatures across the U.S., the year in economic development began with concern about how last year's
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler might affect their incentive programs. By summer, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision regarding the permissibility of exercising the takings power for economic development projects in Kelo v. New London had more than half the states scrambling to protect their constituents' private property via freshly inked laws.
       No wonder tort reform was high on so many agendas.
       After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that local governments had the right to seize homes for private development projects, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley was the first governor to sign special legislation strengthening private property rights. Similar laws had already been passed in at least eight other states prior to the Supreme Court ruling.
       "A property rights revolt is sweeping the nation and Alabama is leading it," Governor Riley said. The new law prohibits the state or local governments from condemning private property in non-blighted areas for the purpose of retail, commercial, industrial, office or residential development.
With legislators and bill supporters looking on, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley enacts stronger private property protections after the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on June 23 in Kelo vs. City of New London that local governments can seize homes for private development.

       As federal-level discussion over stem cell research funding continued, Illinois, New Jersey, California and Connecticut created funding mechanisms for stem cell work.
       Fifteen state legislatures held special sessions, albeit primarily to address budget and bond issues. And the battle for party dominance continued over every one of the 7,382 state elected offices in the nation: At last count in June, the nationwide breakdown was 3,656 Democrats vs. 3,658 Republicans, with Vermont leading the way once again with seven "others."
       Court decisions will continue to figure prominently in legislative chamber decisions. Some have pointed to property rights as perhaps the most significant topic area of cases on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court docket. A national measure seeking to affirm the rights of states to offer their own investment tax incentives for economic development was expected to be heard before a Senate committee this fall.
       In the meantime, just as that bill isn't waiting for the Supreme Court to act, neither are the states waiting on the nation's capital.
       What follows are state-by-state summary highlights of new laws affecting economic development.

Continue to: State-by-state Legislative Review

| Site Selection Online | SiteNet | Feedback | Search SiteNet |
©2005 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. SiteNet data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.