Sunday, May 3, 2009

Legislative Alerts: Senate Bills Scheduled for Consideration May 4

By Martha Estes - May 3, 2009

Mon. May 4th @ 11am in SENATE Chamber
Postponed Business:
SB 18 (CS) Estes/ et al.

Relating to the use of eminent domain authority. Co-authors: Carona, Deuell, Eltife, Harris, Hegar, Hinojosa, Mike Jackson, Dan Patrick, Seliger, Shapiro, Uresti, Van de Putte, West, Williams, Zaffirini
Analysis (as filed):

Currently, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the taking of private property for public use without just compensation, commonly referred to as the "takings clause." Section 17, Article I, Texas Constitution, prohibits a person's property from being taken, damaged, or destroyed without consent for public use without adequate compensation.

As proposed, S.B. 18 modifies the process governing eminent domain proceedings, standards of evidence that could be considered by a court in the course of making decisions regarding damages, obligations placed upon condemning entities, and the rights of previous owners to repurchase taken property. S.B. 18 authorizes special commissioners to take into account any evidence that a property owner would consider in a negotiated transaction outside the standards set forth in the chapter. This bill modifies the price at which previous owners could repurchase condemned property on which a public use was cancelled within 10 years of the acquisitions to be the price paid to the owner by the governmental entity at the time the property originally was acquired, rather than the fair market value of the property at the time the public use was canceled. S.B. 18 requires a governmental entity, for each property or group of jointly owned contiguous properties to be condemned, to formally authorize by motion the initiation of condemnation proceedings at a public hearing by a record vote by adding the Truth in Condemnation Procedures Act. S.B. 18 requires the comptroller of public accounts to identify all entities public and private, with eminent domain authority and make recommendations to the legislature regarding that authority.

Second Reading:

SB 1282 Williams
Caption: Relating to the powers of certain freight rail districts

SB 1283 Williams
Caption: Relating to the supervision by the TxDOT of money appropriated by the federal government for the construction and maintenance of rail facilities

SB 1923 Watson
Caption: Relating to funding sources for the Texas rail relocation and improvement fund

SB 612 (LC) Shapleigh
Caption: Relating to the powers and duties of the TxDOT related to rail facilities

SB 1570 (LC) Carona Caption: Relating to the facilitation, analysis, and implementation of high-speed passenger rail in this state.

SB 1382 (LC) Carona Relating to the coordination of the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of a statewide passenger rail system by the TxDOT

SB 2096 (CS) (LC) Wentworth
Caption: Relating to the creation of and the powers of a comprehensive multimodal urban transportation authority, including the power to impose taxes, issue bonds, and exercise limited eminent domain authority

SB 1351 (CS) (LC) Carona
Caption: Relating to the terms of the members of the Texas Transportation Commission (2 years)

SB 505 (CS) Ogden Caption: Relating to authorizing the designation of an area adjacent to a state highway project as a transportation finance zone and requiring that the revenue from the state sales and use taxes imposed in the zone be used to pay obligations issued in connection with the project.

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