Colorado Lawmakers Kill Plan to Ask Voters About Limiting Eminent Domain

Colorado lawmakers killed a plan Monday that would have let state voters decide whether to limit the government's power to seize private property.

Republican Rep. Al White said an amendment that had been added would have created a loophole allowing municipalities to continue using eminent domain to condemn property to eliminate blight.

"It's been bitten by a rabid skunk and I've got to put it down," he told House colleagues, who voted 60-4 to postpone a vote until after the Legislature adjourns.

White said he now supports a citizens initiative being prepared for the November ballot that would call on voters to approve for stricter limits.

Eminent domain became a national issue after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New London, Conn., could seize homeowners' property to develop a hotel, convention center, office space and condominiums next to Pfizer Inc.'s new research headquarters. Several states have been considering their own limitations.