Mary Alice Reporting –

House Bill 64 relates to the states eminent domain law and a state bureau is advocating for its approval.

According to the Ohio Farm bureau, the state lags behind other states related to landowner protections and they say this bill will provide vital reform.

Brandon Kern, the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Senior Director of State and National Policy, says that landowners faced with eminent domain have to go through a complex and multiple stepped legal system.

“I think a lot of folks, when faced with what that means, you’re talking about more than a year of working with a lawyer, working through the legal system just to defend your right to have a fair compensation for a taking that’s necessary is not right.”

The proposed legislation, according to the OFB, would provide landowners an opportunity to defend themselves from overreaching interest if the eminent domain process outlined in Ohio law is not followed.

Kerns says Ohio is the only state that does not have inverse condemnation, which is a streamline of the process of having a clear legal path for landowners themselves.

“To work through and have one court jurisdiction look at the issue, make a ruling, ensure that the taking is necessary, ensure that the compensation that’s been offered to that landowner is fair and adequate under the constitutional provisions that protect landowners when an eminent domain does need to be used.”

Kern adds that HB 64 has opposition from stakeholders who frequently use eminent domain.

“Certainly there’s some cynicism from some of the stakeholders out there who have eminent domain power. Obviously from their side of things, they never want to make something harder on them to work through. Right now, they have a pretty easy system to work through. But we’re making the argument that this process needs to be easier to use and needs to be fair for landowners.”

OFB is asking their members and other residents in support of the measure to contact their state representative to voice their backing.

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