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Urgent: Protect Landowners by Reforming Eminent Domain

Please contact members of the State Affairs Committee before Monday, March 11, to urge their support of reform legislation to provide due process: SB 421, SB 552, SB 553, and SB 554.

  • SB 421 committee substitute for Kolkhorst "Eminent Domain Authority" helps protect landowners to ensure they have a fair and equitable process when private entities come to take private property for public use. It accomplishes this by:
    • Requiring private entities host public meetings in counties so affected property owners have an opportunity to learn about the project, the eminent domain process, and can ask questions to get real-time feedback directly from company representatives.
    • Requiring standard property protections in all easement terms so that all property owners get fair terms automatically, which they can build upon in negotiations. Also, any condemnation action will be required to include these minimum easement terms, which is an improvement for property owners who get one-sided terms when a lawsuit is filed.
    • Creating a disincentive for private companies to give lowball offers of compensation to property owners.
  • SB 552 Schwertner "Survey Permission" provides property owners information about their rights relating to the survey of their property by an eminent domain authority. The bill requires landowners to be informed of their rights in the negotiation of a survey and other related provisions. It also provides that the details of these rights also be incorporated in a Survey Permission Form if used by a condemning authority.
  • SB 553 Schwertner "Purchase of Additional Property" requires a condemning entity make a separate and clearly identifiable offer for additional land needed that is not related to land acquired through condemnation.
  • SB 554 Schwertner "Right to Repurchase Property" amends current statute relating to the right to repurchase property from a condemning entity. The legislation allows a landowner the right to repurchase property if the condemning entity does not prove that “actual progress” toward the stated public use of a taking is made within a ten-year period.

CHAIR Joan Huffman - 512.463.0117
VICE-CHAIR Bryan Hughes - 512.463.0101
MEMBERS
Brian Birdwell - 512.463.0122
Brandon Creighton - 512.463.0104
Pat Fallon - 512.463.0130
Bob Hall - 512.463.0102
Eddie Lucio, Jr. - 512.463.0127
Jane Nelson - 512.463.0112
Judith Zaffirini - 512.463.0121
vjoan.huffman@senate.texas.gov, bryan.hughes@senate.texas.gov, brian.birdwell@senate.texas.gov, brandon.creighton@senate.texas.gov, pat.fallon@senate.texas.gov, bob.hall@senate.texas.gov, eddie.lucio@senate.texas.gov, jane.nelson@senate.texas.gov, judith.zaffirini@senate.texas.gov

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