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Bill would make eminent domain tougher for state colleges

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An Indiana lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would make it more expensive for state-supported universities to acquire land by eminent domain.

State Sen. Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown, says he wants to correct an "error" in the state's current eminent domain law.

His bill would require public universities using eminent domain to acquire property that includes an operating business to pay the business owner the value of estimated future earnings when acquiring the property.

Eckerty told the Star-Press of Muncie that, under current law, a university "can put someone out of business" through eminent domain.

Universities currently must pay landowners the fair market value of the land and any other damages.

Ball State University spokesman Tony Proudfoot says the school opposes the bill because it changes the law for just one type of entity that is allowed to use eminent domain.

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