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Hundreds of people turned out this week for a property rights rally at the Missouri capitol building. They were there to show their support for legislation limiting the ability of government to take private property through eminent domain. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
Citizens from the big cities and rural areas came together to rally for property rights and against a Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for government to take private property and give it to private developers.
Jerry Sukovaty is a dairy farmer near Bolivar who came to Jefferson City for the rally...He's President of Polk County Farm Bureau and he says his farm and others in the area are at risk of being taken by eminent domain.
Lawmakers say they understand the concern of farmers like Jerry Sukovaty and plan to work on legislation to address those concerns.
But it's not just farmers who say they're worried.
Small business owners say they have a stake in this eminent domain debate too.
Brad Jones is Missouri's state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Some lawmakers say there are times when property owners may not be willing to negotiate, leaving eminent domain as the only option.
Republican Senator John Grieshiemer says government needs to have some options in these cases.
It appears that those who want to see limits on eminent domain will get help from Republican Governor Matt Blunt.
He spoke at the rally this week...Speaking to reporters afterward, he said he wants lawmakers to set a high standard for governments that want to take private property for economic development.
Defining blight is likely to be a difficult task since economic development projects around the state have relied on the blight declaration to condemn property for revitalization.