Last Legislative Session’s Priority Bills
Eminent domain reform is about fairness and “due process” for landowners – it is supported by the platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Texas.
More than twenty-four bills were offered during the 86th Legislative Session. Below are the priority bills for the Texas Landowners for Eminent Domain Reform:
SB421 Kolkhorst/HB991 Burns (Passed Both Chambers – Not Concurred)
SB421 affects private entities given eminent domain authority. It is an omnibus bill that a) provides basic easement terms to impacted property owners regarding a private entity’s project; b) provides an evidence-based valuation of a landowner’s property along with damages to the remainder conducted by a licensed real estate broker or certified appraiser; and c) requires entities to hold informational meetings with affected landowners on the details of a project.
SB552 Schwertner/HB1245 Ashby
This bill provides property owners information about their rights relating to the survey of their property by an eminent domain authority. The bill requires landowners to be informed of their rights in the negotiation of a survey and other related provisions. It also provides that the details of these rights also be incorporated in a Survey Permission Form if used by a condemning authority.
SB553 Schwertner/HB1246 Ashby (Passed Senate – House Testimony)
SB553 requires a condemning entity make a separate and clearly identifiable offer for additional land needed that is not related to land acquired through condemnation.
SB554 Schwertner/HB1253 Leman (Passed Senate – Referred to House)
SB554 amends the current statute relating to the right to repurchase property from a condemning entity. The legislation allows a landowner the right to repurchase property if the condemning entity does not prove that “actual progress” toward the stated public use of a taking is made within a ten year period.
SB555 Schwertner/HB1247 Ashby (Passed Senate – House Testimony)
SB555 states that if additional property taxes are imposed due to the diversion of property for nonagricultural use, then the property taxes are the responsibility of the condemning entity, not the property owner.
HB1157 Bell (House Testimony)
HB1157 states that after making an initial offer, a condemning entity shall disclose any new, amended, or updated appraisal within 10 days of the appraisal report and at least 3 days before a special commissioner’s hearing. If this procedure is not followed, a court can dismiss the condemnation proceeding.
HB4154 Zwiener (Referred to House Committee)
HB4154 states that if there is an objection to the award after a Special Commissioner’s hearing, then a private entity cannot take possession of the property until after 180 days of the commissioner’s award if there is pending litigation.
HB4382 Zwiener (Referred to House Committee)
This bill provides that a common carrier pipeline that meets certain criteria must publish notice of its application to the state in a local newspaper and must hold a public hearing along the route.
HB4423 Zwiener (House Testimony)
HB4423 would require a pipeline to post a bond with the state to ensure that remediation of land disturbed by the construction of a pipeline would occur.
To learn more about bills offered during the 86th Texas Legislative Session, please visit capitol.texas.gov for more information.
2020 – TBD
Statewide Texas Senate and House
Interim Hearings -Eminent Domain
January 12, 2021
87th Legislative Session Begins
May 31, 2021
Last Day of Session