Under the Dome

Rand's departure means hope for some

The departure of state Sen. Tony Rand has a lot of people wondering how the Senate will operate without the powerful master of rules, legislative maneuvers and hard-ball politics.

It even has state Rep. Paul Stam wondering if he'll finally get a favorite bill passed in the Senate. Stam, an Apex Republican and the chamber's minority leader, told Dome the other day that this could be the year that he gets a hearing in the Senate on a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the government's use of eminent domain.

Stam just happened to have a copy of the bill with him, leading Dome to wonder if he carries it wherever he goes. The bill, which would prohibit the use of eminent domain if land would then be sold for economic development, didn't clear the House this year, but Stam said the Senate, and particularly Rand, have been the major obstacle in past years.

Dome asked whether Rand was the impediment or whether Rand was carrying out the wishes of the Democratic majority.

"That's what we'll find out," Stam said.

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