While HB 1313 was in Conference Committee the retroactive dates were changed from the time of the Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court to February 7th, the date the legislation was introduced. The change was made at the insistance of the Speaker and leaves Mark & Regina Meeks unprotected in their fight against the City of Stockbridge
Gov. Sonny Perdue and legislators came up with House Bill 1313, which had provisions that made it retroactive and would have helped Meeks with his court fight to keep his business.
A late Thursday afternoon change at the insistence of Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson changed the date of retroactivity. Now the law will apply to cases of eminent domain that began after the bill was introduced, Feb. 7.
Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), who worked with Richardson on amending the bill, said writing laws that are retroactive creates legal conflicts that are difficult to resolve.
“You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game,” Fleming said.
Sen. John Wiles (R-Marietta), said, “I wish we could have helped the Meeks,” but didn’t think it could legally be done.
Meeks was visibly deflated. He carried on the expensive court fight, partially in hopes the legislature would help him.
“We spent $160,000 to get here,” he said.
“It’s disheartening and disingenuous to leave (retroactivity) in until the end of the last day, then say, ‘No,’ ” Meeks said.