FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2006
AUSTIN, TX - Today Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. announced his two recent interim appointments by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to the Binational Alcohol and Substance Abuse Task Force and the Interim Committee to Study the Power of Eminent Domain.
"I thank Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for these two critical appointments," said Sen. Lucio. "I certainly look forward to addressing the problems that these two bodies will be studying."
The Binational Alcohol and Substance Abuse Task Force was created from House Bill 3426 by Rep. Norma Chavez during the 79th Regular Legislative Session. HB 3426 directs the task force to study matters relating to the "contributing factors of binge drinking by both minors and persons of legal drinking age and the effects on health and the community of binge drinking." The task force will also study the "effect of substance abuse on residents living near the border, with emphasis on residents who are at least 14 years of age but younger than 26 years of age."
"Differences in the standards for alcohol consumption and corresponding limitations, between Texas and Mexico, puts our Border region in a unique situation which exposes our young people to increased risks," explained Sen. Lucio. "This task force will work to address the problems engendered by the differences in standards."
Other Senate members of the Task Force include Senators Juan Hinojosa, Eliot Shapleigh, Judith Zaffirini and Senate District 19 (seat empty).
Senate Bill 7, passed during the 79th Second Called Legislative Session, directs the Legislature to establish an interim committee to "study the use of the power of eminent domain." The Legislature passed Senate Bill 7 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Kelo vs. City of New London case, which served as a warning for states to clearly articulate their position on eminent domain through legislation or constitutional amendments.
"We passed Senate Bill 7 with the understanding that the magnitude and complexity of the issue of eminent domain necessitated long-term review," noted Sen. Lucio. "For this reason, I am extremely pleased with my appointment to this committee. I take personal property rights very seriously and will do everything in my power as a committee member to ensure they are properly protected."
The bill directs the interim committee to study the use of the power of eminent domain, including its use for economic development purposes and what constitutes adequate compensation for property taken through the use of eminent domain. The committee is also required to prepare a report of its study for the 80th Legislature.
Senate members of the Committee also include Senators Kyle Janek, Jane Nelson, Robert Duncan and Tommy Williams.