Today marks the 140th day of the 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislature; our legislators will be adjourning Sine Die. No doubt, there have been many long days and short nights hammering out the final details of surviving legislation, particularly over this past weekend.
It is extremely regrettable SB 18, the session's landmark eminent domain reform bill, died as a result of chubbing at the end of session. This badly needed legislation would have significantly bolstered the rights of private property owners to require bona fide offers in negotiations and adequate compensation for loss of access.
Fortunately, HJR 14 was passed by both chambers and will be headed to the voters this November. This amendment will ensure in our state's constitution that a person's property cannot be taken for anything but a true public use, and would forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes.
You probably remember the famous Kelo decision by the United States Supreme Court that said it was okay to take private property from an individual and give it to another in the name of economic development. Hopefully, the voters of Texas will say "YES" to HJR 14, and a big "NO" to the government stomping on the fundamentals that built our great state.
Stay tuned. I will try to highlight some key legislation that will soon be signed into law.