SB 18, The Eminent Domain Reform Bill – a victory for Texas landowners

Dear Friend:

One of the major victories of the recently concluded legislative session was SB 18, the eminent domain reform bill.  This bill implements some very important protections for Texas landowners and strengthens private property rights.

Here are a few of the highlights of the bill:

– Previously there was ambiguity in Texas law that allowed governmental entities to use eminent domain to take private land for a “public purpose”.  With the help of other conservative legislators, I was able to amend the statute changing “public purpose” to “public use”, which conforms the statute to the Texas and U.S. constitutions.  We believe this will further ensure that eminent domain is only used as envisioned in our Constitution.

– Requires government entities to make bona fide, good faith offers to landowners

– Requires fair compensation for loss of access to property

– Ends government land speculation by allowing property owners to re-purchase their land at the price paid to the owner if the governmental entity has made no actual progress on the public use project after 10 years

SB 18 was signed by the Governor on May 19 and will become effective on September 1 of this year.

It is a pleasure to serve you in the Texas Legislature.

Thank you,

Phil King
State Representative

6 responses

  1. Two thoughts for the city of Weatherford.
    1) the business along the S Main project that are gong to have thier access limited by the “new” construction. Does the city need to revisit this project in light of this new law.
    2) visit the City of Weatherford website and read the June 8 Planning and Zoning Board meeting presentation for the Fort Worth Highway (US 180) vision. Again, what effect will this new law have on it?

    and as usual,
    Sid Johnson
    Weatherford taxpayer
    call me at 817-613-7002
    or come see me at College Park Pack and Mail

  2. Senator Blutarsky

    I bet it is a “pleasure to serve you”, King, in your position, voting for all the CDAs and PPPs that you have, but I digress…………

    Too bad this supposed “reform” only addresses the problem from the back end, not the front end.

    It is reactive, not proactive, in addressing this abuse, and the ridiculous Kelo ruling by SCOTUS- a total disgrace to the judiciary intent of this entire nations history

    And we get a cheap bandaid……………wow……..yawn

  3. In Reference to Private Property Rights. This was in favor of SB 18.

    Testimony before the House County Aff airs Committee
    by Ryan Brannan, Policy Analyst, Center for Economic Freedom

    the problem is that cities
    have too much. Or to put it another way, there are insuffi
    cient controls in place to ensure that the exercise of the
    current regulatory authority by cities does not result in
    harm to property rights.

    Houston is a good example of a local government that
    gets by with fewer land use controls. Houston, the fourth
    largest city in the United States, does not have zoning
    authority, which has been rejected time and time again
    by Houstonians. In fact, it is the lack of zoning that has
    helped Houston lead the way in Texas and across the United
    States when it comes to economic and job growth

  4. PS to above post

    Protecting private property rights through keeping land
    use controls in check is crucial to Texas’ continued economic
    and job growth.􀁺

  5. ATTN: “The City of Weatherford Vision and Development Association”

    You five we elected to be The City of Weatherford City Council.
    You took an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of the United States and State of Texas.
    A basic right is private ownership of property and to use as the property owner wants.
    Your election does not give you the authority to have required “vision” and/or use of any property in any area.
    If you or anyone feels a need to have someone’s property have an appearance or use which would fit some person’s vision then that person needs to acquire it from it’s rightful owner is willing to sale. If not, then that person needs to learn to live with it or move on.
    The Fort Worth Highway (US 180) Vision will caused residents/taxpayers of Weatherford higher taxes and property owners and businesses hardships and added expenses for the benefit a few wealthy political elite and non-residents of our city.

  6. Senator Blutarsky

    ” Victory “…..? Who are you trying to con, King ?

    Texas landowners need not apply
    The author of SB 18, the eminent domain bill, Sen. Craig Estes called it a carefully brokered deal with special interests, brokered behind closed doors before the session even started, and Texas property owners weren’t invited. The bill does NOTHING to protect landowners from having their land taken and handed to another private party in the name of a laundry list of ‘public uses,’ the cornerstone of the landmark Kelo case from which Texans remain unprotected. SB 18 also fails to protect property owners from eminent domain for economic development and blight, and that’s by design based on what the Legislature had in store later.

    Continue reading on Texas for Sale: New laws sell Texas to highest bidder – San Antonio Transportation Policy |

%d bloggers like this: