Last night we were gearing up for a significant legislative battle in committee Friday morning on one of our Founding Principles — property rights. However, we learned earlier today that the proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution will be carried over to next Friday in the full House Privileges and Elections Committee (click here to get members’ contact information). The resolution is HJ 647 and is patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville). (In sub-committee, HJ 498, patroned by Delegate Manoli Loupassi, and HJ 515, patroned by Delegate Annie B. Crockett-Stark, were rolled into HJ 647.) In addition, Delegate Johnny Joannou (D-79, Portsmouth) is the patron of HJ 693, which was brought straight to full committee, but which also will be carried over to next week.
While it may be a let down in the short-term, we’re hopeful the week will allow for more grassroots activism. While the Big Government lobby and Big Corporations may have a lot of money, but we have more voices. Ensuring private property and the just compensation of its owners in the cases where true eminent domain is required, is fundamental to preserving our liberty, because if the government can take your property, they can take your business, your church, your farm — anything — and claim it for a “public use.” It happens with disturbing frequency and must be stopped. Use this week to contact members of the committee and urge passing of HJ 647/HJ 693, especially if your delegate is a member.