Attorney Trey Wilson - RL Wilson Law

22 May 2009

Texas Eminent Domain Bill Progressing Through Legislature

The highly anticipated eminent domain bill (SB 18) could be voted out of the Texas House and be on its way to Governor Perry as early as this Saturday. The bill is scheduled for second reading today, which means it will be read on third reading Saturday while the House is in session. The Bill passed out of the Texas Senate on May 7, 2009.

Earlier this week, the House Land and Resource Management Committee voted the bill out of committee with a few amendments (also called Committee Substitutes). All provisions critical to property owners were left intact.

Both the United State and Texas constitutions require that the taking of private property must be for a "public use," and that when an authorized entity takes private property for a "public use" that it must compensate the owner for the property taken. The exercise of the power of eminent domain is generally recognized as a necessary tool of government; however, many have argued that over the years this power has been expanded and used in ways that are improper.

C.S.S.B. 18 makes changes, additions, and deletions, to various provisions in Texas law in an attempt to reform the power, limitations, process, and various other aspects of the power of eminent domain and condemnation in this state.

To see the Legislature's Analysis of the Bill and its specific provisions, click here.

Trey Wilson --Named By Scene in SA Magazine As One of San Antonio's Best Real Estate Litigation Attorneys -- September 2008 -- As voted on by peers