Eminent Domain Reform Debate Continues In Texas

Texas Farm Bureau contends the current eminent domain reform debate will affect Texas private property owners

Online PR News – 15-April-2009 – – Debates over eminent domain reform in Austin will determine how Texas private property owners will be treated in the future during condemnation procedures, according to Texas Associate Legislative Director Regan Beck.

“We’ll either continue with archaic laws that stack the deck against property owners in eminent domain proceedings, or we’ll progress to meaningful reform laws that level the playing field,” Beck said. “The choice ultimately rests with the Texas legislature and the veto pen of Governor Rick Perry.”

Two true reform bills that would protect the private property rights of all Texans are currently stuck in committee. Texas Farm Bureau Associate Legislative Director Regan Beck expects some variation of SB 18 by Estes to eventually pass out of the Senate State Affairs committee. Negotiations continue over two competing bills in the Texas House. Beck said he hopes any bill coming out of the House Land and Resource Management Committee will contain all of the key provisions already included in HB 1483.

Although other bills address critical aspects of eminent domain reform, Beck said HB 1483 and SB 18 are comprehensive in scope and address what Texas Farm Bureau considers the three pillars of eminent domain reform: a good faith offer by the taking entity; compensation, including diminished access; and a stronger definition of public use.

Both bills are similar to HB 2006 which overwhelmingly passed both House and Senate last session but was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.

Beck said reform legislation is critical to the protection of private property rights in Texas. He’s optimistic there will be meaningful changes to Texas’ eminent domain law. But time is running out, he warned, with less than seven weeks left in the legislative session.

“It’s extremely important that you talk to your state senator and representative,” Beck said. “Tell them you expect meaningful eminent domain reform.”

One easy way to contact your legislators is through Texas Farm Bureau’s Legislative Action Center at http://www.capwiz.com/txfb/state/main/?state=TX. Simply enter your zip code and you can send an email concerning eminent domain to your representative in the House and Senate.

About The Texas Farm Bureau
The Texas Farm Bureau works to provide a voice for Texas farmers, ranchers, rural citizens and everyone interested in preserving and protecting this way of life.
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