P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2005
AUSTIN -- Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, has signed on as a co-author of Senate Bill 62 protecting homeowners from the unfair use of eminent domain in Texas. The legislation comes on the heels of a controversial decision by the United States Supreme Court.
"The recent Supreme Court decision has sent off alarm bells among private property owners who are left to wonder if their home or business could be taken away from them by an overzealous government," Senator Nelson said. "Eminent domain powers should be used only in extreme circumstances in which there is a compelling public interest. This legislation will put in place new protections for property owners to guard against condemnation for purely economic development purposes."
Senate Bill 62, approved today by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, contains several protections for property owners, including:
- A prohibition on all eminent domain of private property to confer a private benefit to a private party;
- A prohibition on all eminent domain of private property for public use, if the public use is merely a pretext to confer a private benefit to a private party; and
- A limitation on all eminent domain for economic development purposes; wherein condemnation will only be allowed to eradicate existing harm to society caused by slum or blighted areas.
The Legislature is currently in special session to consider issues relating to the budget and education reform. The special session began June 21st and ends July 20th.