2011-04-21 / Front Page

Eminent Domain Bill Passes House & Senate

Senate Bill 18 “ Eminent Domain” has now passed both the Texas House and Senate. SB 18 increases protection for Texas private property owners facing eminent domain proceedings. This is of ultimate concern to the Lee County’s farming and ranching community.

SB 18 requires entities with eminent domain authority to first make a bona fide offer in writing before proceedings can begin. Entities must also identify any impairment of direct access to the remaining parcel of land and requires that compensation be considered for the impairment of access. The bill also requires that a public vote must be on record by the condemning entity prior to any condemnation proceedings and contains a provision that any condemned land not used within 10 years must be offered for sale back to the original owner at the condemnation price.

Governor Perry recently announced that he will sign the bill into law. SB 18 was filed by Senator Estes of Wichita Falls and sponsored in the House by Representative Geren of Fort Worth.

According to Independent Cattlemen’s Association President Rosalee Coleman of George West, “SB 18 is a great step in protecting the rights of Texas landowners. The passage of this bill is an example of how the public and associations can make a difference in deterring government take-over. We thank everyone for their support and look forward to Governor Perry signing this bill into law.”

The bill was previously vetoed by Governor Perry in 2007 and halted by the voter ID log-jam in 2009.

Lee and Bastrop County Farm Bureau’s President Mike Organ said, “This is the 7th year that the Farm Bureau has pushed for this legislation, which protects private property owners from unnecessary land grabs by govenment. We are indeed happy to see it pass and to know that it will become law.”

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