Corte: "If the House agreed to negotiate with the Senate on the bill, several amendments the House added to make it stronger would die."
Jul. 19, 2005
AUSTIN -Legislation that would have limited government from taking private property likely will not be approved in this special legislative session after the House refused to negotiate with the Senate on final details of the measure.
The legislation would have limited state and local governments from taking private property if the primary purpose is for economic development.
The bill was filed in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lets local governments take land for private development to generate tax money. The court ruled 5-4 last month in a case involving the city of New London, Conn., which sought to take homes to make way for a private development.
The Senate approved the bill first and sent it to the House. Lawmakers there added provisions to the bill and kicked it back to the Senate. Senators agreed to negotiate with the House on the differences, but the House refused Tuesday.
Rep. Frank Corte, R-San Antonio, said if the House agreed to negotiate with the Senate on the bill, several amendments the House added to make it stronger would die.
"We need to do e for the property owners in Texas and this is the only thing we have right now," Corte said. "If it's watered down, it's not worth passing."
The Senate had two choices: Accept the House bill or let it die. Sen. Kyle Janek, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said some provisions in the House bill were unacceptable.
Janek, R-Houston, said he was disappointed but will try to have eminent domain added to the next special legislative session if Republican Gov. Rick Perry calls lawmakers back again. Perry is expected to call another session if a school funding package fails.
Perry is the only person who can set the topics to be discussed during legislative sessions.
"I think every day we wait, somebody else's property is at risk," Janek said.
The eminent domain bill is SB62.
The Associated Press: