from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
February 10, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes Files Senate Bill 18 to Reform Eminent Domain

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Bill 18 to reform the process of eminent domain in the state of Texas.

"I believe one of the most important functions of government is the protection of private property and the interests of property owners," said Estes. "Our ability to own and profit from private property is fundamental to not just our economic liberty, but also our personal liberty."

Senate Bill 18 reforms the practice of eminent domain by redefining "public use" and creating a "Truth in Condemnation Act", requiring a bona fide offer and good faith negotiations with compensation for economic loss including diminished access, and ending the practice of government land speculation.

"I want to thank Lt. Governor Dewhurst for his leadership on these issues, and his commitment to protecting private property rights with meaningful eminent domain reform," added Estes.

Senate Bill 18 is substantially similar the House Bill 2006 passed by the 80th Legislature and vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.

"I look forward to working with Governor Perry in reforming our eminent domain laws as we work this measure through the Legislature," said Estes.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.