Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (first reference). (HJ693)

Introduced By

Del. Johnny Joannou (D-Portsmouth)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Constitutional amendment (first resolution); taking or damaging of private property; public use.  Expands the prohibition on the enactment by the General Assembly of laws whereby private property may be taken or damaged. An existing provision authorizing the General Assembly to define what constitutes a public use is removed. The measure (i) states that the right to private property is fundamental; (ii) clarifies that the damaging or taking of private property is prohibited except for public use, and only upon the payment of just compensation to the owner; (iii) requires that the owner receive just compensation for the property taken or damaged and for damages to the residue; (iv) states that just compensation is no less than the value of the property taken or damaged, business goodwill, relocation expenses, loss of access and other economic loss proximately caused by the taking or damaging; (v) prohibits the taking of more property than is necessary to achieve the stated public use; (vi) provides that a taking of private property is not for public use if the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development, except for the authorized provision of a public utility, public service corporation, or railroad service or for the elimination of a public nuisance existing on the property; and (vii) requires the condemnor to bear the burden of proving that the use is public. Read the Bill »


03/04/2011: Passed the General Assembly


  • 01/17/2011 Presented and ordered printed 11103856D
  • 01/17/2011 Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
  • 02/04/2011 Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (17-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/04/2011 Committee substitute printed 11105102D-H1
  • 02/04/2011 Incorporates HJ647
  • 02/04/2011 Incorporates HJ515
  • 02/04/2011 Incorporates HJ498
  • 02/07/2011 Passed by for the day
  • 02/08/2011 Taken up
  • 02/08/2011 Committee substitute agreed to 11105102D-H1
  • 02/08/2011 Engrossed by House - committee substitute HJ693H1
  • 02/08/2011 Agreed to by House (81-Y 18-N)
  • 02/08/2011 VOTE: ADOPTION (81-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/09/2011 Reading waived
  • 02/09/2011 Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
  • 02/15/2011 Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/15/2011 Committee substitute printed 11105382D-S1
  • 02/17/2011 Reading waived (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/18/2011 Read third time
  • 02/18/2011 Passed by for the day
  • 02/21/2011 Read third time
  • 02/21/2011 Passed by for the day
  • 02/22/2011 Amendments Set #4 by Senator Watkins agreed to
  • 02/22/2011 Read third time
  • 02/22/2011 Reading of substitute waived
  • 02/22/2011 Committee substitute agreed to 11105382D-S1
  • 02/22/2011 Amendment #1 by Senator Watkins withdrawn
  • 02/22/2011 Amendments #1, #2 and #3 by Senator Newman withdrawn
  • 02/22/2011 Reading of amendments waived
  • 02/22/2011 Amendments #2 and #3 by Senator Watkins agreed to
  • 02/22/2011 Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendments HJ693S1
  • 02/22/2011 Agreed to by Senate with substitute with amendments (31-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/22/2011 Reconsideration of Senate passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/22/2011 Agreed to by Senate with substitute with amendments (35-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/22/2011 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/23/2011 Senate substitute with amendments agreed to by House 11105382D-S1 (83-Y 15-N)
  • 02/23/2011 VOTE: ADOPTION (83-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
  • 03/03/2011 Enrolled
  • 03/03/2011 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HJ693ER)
  • 03/03/2011 Signed by Speaker
  • 03/04/2011 Signed by President
  • 03/28/2011 G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0757)
  • 03/31/2011 Assigned Chapter 757 (effective 7/1/11 - see bill)
  • 03/31/2011 Assigned Chapter 757 (effective - see bill)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 4 clips in all, totaling 11 minutes.


This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HJ647.

In the News

Resolution would strengthen property rights for 2012 voters

March 7, 2011
RICHMOND – This land is my land—not your land. Virginians’ private property rights would be more secure under a resolution passed by the General Assembly to restrict the government’s eminent domain powers. The resolution seeks to amend the Virginia Constitution to strengthen property right protections.