TURF Eminent Domain Update

Forwarded from Terri Hall of TURF:

Great news! We went from being told this bill was a done deal, a fast-tracked, “carefully crafted compromise” (with all the special interests) that was NOT going to be amended, to having the Land and Resource Management Committee Chair in the House, Rene Oliveira, leave the bill pending in committee. He closed by asking for amendments (ie – changes) to the bill! So much for a railroad job! Delay is victory in this case. The Chair wants to know if they should press for changing the current broad (and very bad for landowners) language from “public purpose” to “public use” or press for the tighter “public necessity.”We want the strictest criteria for takings to be “public necessity”! So that’s our simple message. The detailed message is included in the links below.


Coalition of groups call for changes to SB 18 and genuine eminent domain reform

In testimony yesterday, Debra Medina of We Texans and Terri Hall of TURF pointed out some of the loopholes in SB 18, gave current examples of eminent domain abuses, submitted a substitute bill (basically language we’d like to see, see attached), which we’ve dubbed the Property Rights Protection Act, a bill summary, and our coalition letter (detailing the loopholes and concerns with SB 18) for their consideration. So now we need to work the committee members and see what changes they’ll offer. A BIG THANK YOU toMelissa Cubria and her colleagues at TexPIRG and Marc Scribner of Competitive Enterprise Institute for working on a substitute bill! 

Grover Norquist joins the fight!

We’ve also added some significant signatories to our letter (see attached) opposing SB 18 as written and that have endorsed the Property Rights Protection Act (our substitute bill): Grover Norquist with Americans for Tax Reform, Institute for Liberty, Property Rights Alliance, and Freedom Action, thanks to our friends atCompetitive Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. So we now have a coalition of 13 groups working to fix the eminent domain bill, SB 18 (see attached coalition letter for the entire list). If you or your group would like to join the coalition calling for an END to eminent domain for private gain and other eminent domain abuses, please let us know.



Please contact members of the committee to ask for “public necessity” to replace the current language in statute, which is the very weak and broad term “public purpose” (which could mean entities use eminent domain to take your home or land for just about anything that could be considered a public purpose, like a shopping mall!). Feel free to get into more detail asking for the changes we’ve highlighted in our letter to the Committee (a similar bulletin was given to every member of the Texas Legislature at TURF’s Lobby Day last week) or for the changes most important to you.

Land & Resource Management  (C360)


Office: EXT E2.136

Telephone: 512.463.1623

Clerk: Jaime Durham


Name-Party-District #-Office-Tel & FAX-Email address


Chair: REP. Rene Oliveira D #37 3N.6  512.463-0640 & FAX (512) 463-8186 Rene.Oliveira@house.state.tx.us

Vice-Chair: REP. Tim Kleinschmidt R #17 E2.814 512.463- 0682 & FAX (512) 463-9955 Tim.Kleinschmidt@house.state.tx.us



REP. Rafael Anchia D #103 E2.818   512.463-0746 & FAX (512) 473-0738 Rafael.Anchia@house.state.tx.us

REP. Rodney Anderson R #106 E1.424   512.463-0694 & FAX (512) 463-1130 Rodney.Anderson@house.state.tx.us

REP. Fred Brown R #14 1N.9 512.463-0698 & FAX (512) 463-5109 Fred.Brown@house.state.tx.us

REP. John Garza R #117 E1.512  512.463-0269 & FAX (512) 463-1096 John.Garza@house.state.tx.us

REP. Lois Kolkhorst R #13 GN.9  512.463-0600 & FAX (512) 463-5240 Lois.Kolkhorst@house.state.tx.us

REP. George Lavender R #1 E2.716  512.463-0692 & FAX (512) 463-0902 George.Lavender@house.state.tx.us

REP. Dee Margo R #78 E1.316  512.463-0728 & FAX (512) 463-0397 Dee.Margo@house.state.tx.us


Thank you!

Yours in Liberty,

– Terri


Terri Hall

Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom

Freedom Now and Forever!

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” – John Adams

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