Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Estes Applauds Prop 11 As Step In Right Direction

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) commends Texans for adding eminent domain restrictions to the Texas State Constitution, with 81 percent of the voters approving Proposition 11 in Tuesday's statewide election.

"Prop 11 is a step in the right direction toward meaningful eminent domain reform and the protection of our private property rights," said Estes. "This victory for property rights is not the end of our reforms, but a vote of affirmation by the people of Texas that they want the practice of eminent domain to be reformed and their rights as property owners protected."

During the 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Estes passed Senate Bill 18 through the State Senate, but the bill was stalled in the Texas House. Senate Bill 18 would have reformed the practice of eminent domain by requiring condemning authorities to make bona fide offers of compensation, negotiate in good faith, provide compensation for any loss of direct access to remaining property, and end the practice of government land speculation.

"With the passage of Prop 11, I know the people of my district and across the state are eager to see more reforms to our eminent domain laws, and I intend to continue this effort by filing eminent domain reform legislation when the Legislature meets again," said Estes.

Proposition 11 restricts the use of eminent domain to only taking property for public use and prohibits the transfer of private property from one owner to another under the guise of economic development.

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.