"The Texas House today strengthened the property rights protections in Senate Bill 18 by adopting the ‘buyback' and ‘public use' amendments. These amendments are essential to fixing Texas' Kelo problem once and for all, and we hope that the Texas Senate accepts them when the bill comes back across the rotunda.
"The ‘buyback' amendment by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst grants property owners the right to repurchase their property if the initial use of the taken property is not the public use for which the property was taken. It avoids the concerns that many have had with the original ‘buyback' provision in SB 18.
"The ‘public use' amendment by Rep. Phil King is a simple clean-up that makes Texas statute consistent with the Texas Constitution, which allows takings only for public uses – not for public purposes.
"These amendments are crucial due to the central role property rights play in the maintenance of a free and healthy economy."
Bill Peacock is the vice president of research and planning and director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
– 30 –