Senator Guglielmo Backs Governor Rell’s Call for Special Session Regarding Eminent Domain

September 14, 2005

State Senator Tony Guglielmo, R- Stafford, today is renewing his calls for a special legislative session to deal with the issue of eminent domain following yesterday’s news that residents of New London’s Fort Trumbull section have received eviction notices. Sen. Guglielmo, who has been a staunch critic of government home seizures for purposes of economic development, said that he is extremely troubled by the New London Development Corporation’s decision not to abide by Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s call for a voluntary moratorium on all eminent domain proceedings.

“If this legislature is truly in favor of protecting the rights of homeowners in the state of Connecticut, a special session must be called immediately,” said Sen. Guglielmo. ” I cannot believe that as a legislature we can idly sit on the sidelines and watch as people have their homes taken away from them so that a group of private developers can get rich. This is an out outrage.”

Sen. Guglielmo was one of the first legislators to call for a special session last June following the Supreme Court’s narrow 5-4 ruling that paved the way for such home seizures. He said that the voluntary moratorium issued by Gov. Rell should become mandatory. “The only recourse these homeowners in New London have is through action by the legislature.” said Sen. Guglielmo. “I was disappointed back in June when legislative leaders in the senate refused to endorse a measure that would have put an end to this discriminatory practice. At the time we were told that the issue needed more study. I don’t know what the excuse is now but by not acting this legislature would be endorsing the use of eminent domain for so-called ‘economic development.'”

“These residents who are having their homes taken away from them have done nothing wrong except own a home in the wrong location. Think about that, they own a home in a place that the government finds attractive. This could happen to anyone and we need to put an end to it,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “This is America, and as legislators we have a responsibility to protect the rights of homeowners, I just cannot believe that the state of Connecticut of all states could allow this to happen. We call ourselves the Constitution State, maybe we should start to act like it.”