(Seguin) -- The Texas Legislature is debating proposed changes in the states' eminent domain process.
“For too long, entities and companies with eminent domain authority have been allowed to offer landowners below-market-value for their land,” said Ray Joy Pfannstiel, Guadalupe County Farm Bureau president. “If the landowner wants what is fair, he'll have to pay a lawyer and sue for what is right. It's unfair, and it's time for that to change.”
Fairness and transparency in eminent domain proceedings are two of the goals of the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and its members this legislative session.
TFB President Russell Boening recently testified in support of several bills that would help landowners. HB 2684 by Rep. DeWayne Burns, outlines requirements to make the eminent domain process more fair. TFB also supports HB 2694 by Rep. Kyle Kacal, which would encourage those with eminent domain authority to make fair offers by providing a disincentive for lowball offers.
Other bills, like HB 3687, outline project information and property rights protections through the eminent domain process.
“Eminent domain use is on the rise as Texas' population grows,” said Pfannstiel. “These bills will help ensure landowners receive a fair price for their land when it is taken and that the process is more transparent.”