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

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2011
Contact: Sam Carlson

State Senator Craig Estes Files Eminent Domain Reform Legislation

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) has re-filed the bill to reform the process of eminent domain in the state of Texas. The bill was initially pre-filed as Senate Bill 180 back in November 2010.

"I am grateful to Governor Dewhurst for designating this bill as a priority item. 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.

In 2009, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 18 by Senator Estes which provided key reforms to the state's current eminent domain laws. The bill failed to make it out of the Texas House of Representatives.

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.