Senate amendments added to HB 2006 and HB 3057 earlier this week significantly strengthen both property owners’ rights and limit the abuse of eminent domain.

“We have waited for these bills since the Kelo ruling almost two years ago,” said Bill Peacock, director of the Foundation’s Center for Economic Freedom. “If the House adopts the Senate provisions, Texas will once again be known as a state that understands the importance of protecting private property rights.”

HB 2006 by Rep. Beverly Woolley defines public use and bans the taking of any property unless it is for a public use, levels the playing field when it comes to determinations of public use, and allows property owners to buy back their property if it is not used for the intended public use.

HB 3057 by Rep. Bill Callegari makes significant changes to existing law dealing with blighted areas that will reduce the ability of government entities to engage in Kelo-style takings in Texas. This includes changing the way in which properties may be designated as blighted, and requiring that such designations be made on a property-by-property basis.

“Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Kyle Janek, the Senate’s version of HB 2006 is the fairest deal possible for property owners this session,” Peacock explained. “Going to conference will only benefit the traditional opponents of property rights, who are still jockeying to undermine and strip the fundamental property rights of Texans.”

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