STATEMENT BY AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER TODD STAPLES ON SENATE PASSAGE OF SB 18 RELATED TO EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM
AUSTIN — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today released the following statement in response to the House passage of SB 18, which redefines the legal parameters of eminent domain and private property rights. Earlier this legislative session, the Senate approved the bill.
“It is a great day in our grand state. In Texas, our home is our castle and our land is our legacy. Legislators in the House reaffirmed that belief today when they passed SB 18, which establishes eminent domain reform for Texas home and landowners.
“SB 18, authored by Sen. Craig Estes and Sen. Robert Duncan, enforces what the Texas Constitution guarantees – private property owners will be protected from intrusive condemnation proceedings. Among other things, the bill says property may only be taken for a public good and that negotiations must be made in good faith, meaning a condemning entity cannot try to shortchange property owners in offering just compensation.
“I have long been a proponent of legislation that guarantees Texas private property owners are treated fairly and that entities with eminent domain power act responsibly. After years of setbacks, Texans will finally have won the hard-fought private property owners’ rights battle once SB 18 is signed into law.
“Don’t mess with Texas, and don’t mess with Texas land. That’s what this bill says.”
Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 18, related to eminent domain issues:
“Property ownership is an essential freedom for Texans and an important part of fulfilling the American dream. I applaud Sen. Estes and Rep. Geren for their work on this issue, and commend the Texas House for passing SB 18, which will help further protect property owners by strengthening our eminent domain laws. I look forward to seeing this important legislation reach my desk.”