FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/03/2017
Burns Files Legislation to Protect Property Owners from Eminent Domain Abuse
AUSTIN, TX – This week, State Representative DeWayne Burns filed legislation taking aim at eminent domain abuse. House Bill 2684 will help level the playing field for property owners when they face-off with government entities and corporations with infinitely greater resources. Rep. Burns said that it was his personal experience with eminent domain that prompted him to file the bill.
“I know first-hand the burden that the eminent domain process places on landowners,” Rep. Burns said. “That is why I am fighting to ensure property owners are in the best possible position when faced with the taking of their property. In Texas, private property rights are a sacred principle, and I believe this legislation will help preserve that right without adversely affecting the businesses that are helping to grow our economy.”
A growing state with a strong appetite for new development has put a target on Texas private property, leaving landowners searching for a fair offer and process in eminent domain cases. The new legislation will provide for the reimbursement of landowner expenses if they are sued by a condemner and are ultimately awarded significantly more than the final offer. It will also spell out the use and restriction details required within a condemner’s “bona fide offer” to ensure the entity will properly use and maintain the property.
Rep. Burns’ legislation was immediately met with praise from individuals and organizations who advocate on behalf of property owners across Texas.
“This new legislation is a tremendous step toward fixing a faulty process that places landowners at a huge disadvantage when navigating the condemnation process. We are grateful to have strong allies like Rep. Burns who are committed to defending the rights of private landowners and preserving our future.”
President, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
"This legislation reflects reasonable changes that many states already have in law. Texas should be a leader in strong and fair private property rights that allow for continued growth and economic prosperity.”
President, Texas Farm Bureau
“As a landowner with deep agricultural roots, Representative DeWayne Burns understands the property rights challenges faced by rural Texans. Fair treatment of landowners and respect for property rights are long overdue, and this legislation will advance both.”
CEO, Texas Wildlife Association