URGENT: Call Your State Representative and State Senator today!
Just click the link below and type your address to find who represents you. Be sure to call and ask that they sign on as co-authors to H.B. 991 (Representatives) or S.B. 421 (Senators) to show their support for your property rights!
H.B. 991 & S.B. 421
Authored by Rep. DeWayne Burns, H.B. 991 (Click for full text) was filed in the Texas House Jan. 23, 2019. S.B. 421 (Click for full text) was filed in the Senate on the same day by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst. As filed, the two bills are identical.
Both pieces of legislation provide for significant improvements in the transparency, fairness and accountability of the eminent domain process. They include the following solutions:
Texas landowners are entitled to public meetings in their own county to better understand why their land is being taken, the taking process and to have their questions answered.
Protection Against Low Offers
Texas law does not prohibit a private entity from offering less than fair market value. Landowners must negotiate up to fair market value, and often get less than the value they’re entitled to. Private corporations should be required to pay an additional amount if they underpay the landowner.
Minimum Easement Terms:
Landowners are often presented with an unfair, one-sided or otherwise inadequate easement contract. Private entities should be required to use easement forms that have certain minimum protections for landowners, including but not limited to:
- number and size of pipelines or transmission lines
- product or voltage being carried
- double-ditch method
- defined access
- future damages incurred as a result of maintenance/repairs
- surface restoration
- fences/gates/cattle guards
- a prohibition against transfer to private entities without eminent domain authority