TX Senate Approves Eminent Domain Bill

Following up on yesterday’s post, the Texas Senate has now approved a bill to prevent the exercise of eminent domain for economic development purposes. The House and Senate will now work to reconcile their respective proposals:

After a spirited, four-hour debate, the Texas Senate approved a bill Wednesday limiting state and local governments from seizing homes and other private property for economic development. Senate Bill 62, which passed 25-4, is similar to a proposed constitutional amendment passed by the Texas House earlier this week. Now, each chamber can consider the other’s legislation. Gov. Rick Perry added the eminent domain issue to the agenda for the special session so lawmakers can respond to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows local governments to take private property for economic development purposes. “While most people, including me, think they knew what public use was, the Supreme Court said that public use could include things like economic development,” said Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston, the bill’s author. “The ownership of land is precious to the people of this state,” Janek said. “I think people value those investments as much as they do anything else, perhaps maybe more than we do our pickup trucks.”

Now that’s saying something…