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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 14, 2018 10:56 AM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA Landowner's Bill of Rights

In the very near future, I will be introducing legislation to provide for a Pennsylvania Landowner’s Bill of Rights. My legislation is modeled after the landowner’s bill of rights which was enacted in Texas.

Particularly, this legislation will address the issue of eminent domain by requiring the PA Attorney General’s Office to prepare a written statement that includes a bill of rights for a property owner whose real property may be acquired by a governmental or private entity through the use of the entity’s eminent domain authority. The written statement must then be available on the Attorney General’s internet website and a copy of this written statement must be physically presented to each affected landowner by the entity seeking eminent domain in advance of the acquisition.

Landowners deserve to know their rights when their property is looking to be acquired through eminent domain. This process is often overwhelming to many landowners and the taking of property often leaves landowners frustrated and angry with this realization, as evidenced in Chester County. Landowners are often ill informed when it comes to eminent domain and many do not have the resources to consult with an attorney to fully understand the ramifications of eminent domain and their legal rights under the law. At the very least, any Pennsylvania landowner facing eminent domain should be provided with an adequate understanding of the eminent domain process and all options that may be available to them going forward.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1199