Thursday, March 5, 2015

Texas Senate Hearing on Eminent Domain Bill

There will be a hearing with the Texas Senate, State Affairs Committee, on Monday March 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM.  Senate Bill (SB) 474 is on the agenda for this hearing.  SB 474 deals with eminent domain, and requires the condemning authority to pay the legal fees of the victims.  This bill could certainly be stronger, but it does go a long way in protecting people from eminent domain abuses.  Also, this is probably our only chance in getting something like this passed this session, and there seems to be broad support for this bill.  Below is a copy of the bill, along with the agenda that shows the location of the hearing. 
If possible we need as many people as possible to testify in support of this bill.  If you are unable to make it to the hearing, please consider picking up the phone and calling the committee members listed below in support of this legislation.  Please share with your list, so that maybe we can actually come out of this session with something positive. 

84R7147 AJA-F
  By: Kolkhorst S.B. No. 474
  relating to the recovery of costs and fees in connection with
  certain eminent domain proceedings.
         SECTION 1.  Section 21.047, Property Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  If the amount of damages awarded by the special
  commissioners is at least 10 percent greater than the amount the
  condemnor offered to pay before the proceedings began or if the
  commissioners' award is appealed and a court awards damages in an
  amount that is at least 10 percent greater than the amount the
  condemnor offered to pay before the proceedings began, the
  condemnor shall pay:
               (1)  all costs as provided by Subsection (a); and
               (2)  any reasonable attorney's fees and other
  professional fees incurred by the property owner in connection with
  the eminent domain proceeding.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an eminent domain proceeding commenced on or after the effective
  date of this Act. An eminent domain proceeding commenced before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law applicable to the
  proceeding immediately before the effective date of this Act, and
  that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

COMMITTEE:    State Affairs 
TIME & DATE:  9:00 AM, Monday, March 09, 2015 
PLACE:        Senate Chamber 
CHAIR:        Senator Joan Huffman 

To consider the following:

SB 60         Nelson
Relating to children's advocacy centers.

SB 450        Schwertner
Relating to the liability of a political subdivision of this state for certain claims relating to land acquired by the political subdivision under certain circumstances.

SB 462        Huffman | et al.
Relating to authorizing a revocable deed that transfers real property at the transferor's death.

SB 474        Kolkhorst
Relating to the recovery of costs and fees in connection with certain eminent domain proceedings.

SB 512        Zaffirini
Relating to the promulgation of certain forms for use in probate matters.

SB 610        Perry
Relating to limited liability for an agritourism entity involved in an agritourism activity.

SB 779        Huffman
Relating to the access to certain medical test results by a grand jury.

At the Chair's discretion, the Committee may also consider any pending business.

Public testimony will be limited to 3 minutes. If submitting written testimony, please provide 20 copies to the committee clerk with your name on each.

Senate State Affairs Committee

Clerk: Ashley Brooks
Phone: (512) 463-0380
Sen. Joan Huffman
District: 17
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0117
District Phone: (281) 980-3500
Vice Chair:      
Sen. Rodney Ellis
District: 13
Capitol Office: CAP 3E.6
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0113
District Phone: (713) 236-0306
Sen. Brian Birdwell
District: 22
Capitol Office: EXT E1.706
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0122
District Phone: (254) 772-6225

Sen. Brandon Creighton
District: 4
Capitol Office: EXT E1.606
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0104
District Phone: (409) 838-9861
Sen. Craig Estes
District: 30
Capitol Office: CAP 3E.18
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0130
District Phone: (940) 689-0191
Sen. Troy Fraser
District: 24
Capitol Office: CAP 1E.12
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0124
District Phone: (254) 939-3562
Sen. Jane Nelson 
District: 12
Capitol Office: CAP 1E.5
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0112
District Phone: (817) 424-3446
Charles Schwertner
District: 5
Capitol Office: EXT E1.806
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0105
District Phone: (979) 776-0222
Sen. Judith Zaffirini
District: 21
Capitol Office: CAP 1E.14
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0121
District Phone: (956) 722-2293

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