The property owners of Texas are dumbfounded that a governor from Paint Creek, Texas could veto the most important property rights legislation in more than a decade. When the Texas Farm Bureau Board of directors met with him earlier in the session, the governor agreed that eminent domain needed to be fixed.
House Bill 2006, the eminent domain bill, passed the Texas House with 125 of 150 votes. The Texas Senate passed it unanimously. It proposed that we treat property owners fairly when the state takes their property. The taking of private property has become far too easy in this state. Obviously, there are many powerful interests that prefer it stay that way.
The Texas Farm Bureau set out to pass a bill that reforms the eminent domain process and restores protections for property owners that existed prior to 1993 when court actions reduced protections for them. HB 2006 did exactly that.
We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Representative Beverly Woolley who authored HB 2006 and State Senator Kyle Janek who sponsored it in the Senate. We are also grateful to the 125 House members and 31 Senators who voted for the bill. We cannot overstate our deep disappointment that Governor Perry chose to veto HB 2006.
With the projected growth of this state, takings will occur much more frequently for roads, reservoirs and other public needs. It is imperative that we treat property owners, urban and rural alike, fairly. We are not doing that now. The state of Texas should be held up as an example of fairness.