Monday, August 15, 2005

Houston Sen. Jon Lindsay stalls eminent domain bill by walking out

Lack of quorum stalls eminent domain bill

Lisa Sandberg, Staff Writer
San Antonio Express-News
Copyright 2005

Plans in the Senate to consider changes to the state's eminent domain laws were abruptly halted today when a senator who opposed the bill walked out, leaving the chamber without a quorum.

The Senate was about to vote on the bill but fell one member short of the necessary 21-member quorum after Sen. Jon Lindsay, R-Houston, left the Senate floor. Earlier, he had voiced concerns that changing the state's eminent domain laws would end up costing taxpayers money.

The bill's author, Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston, predicted he would garner sufficient support among his colleagues to pass the bill Tuesday.

The legislation would prohibit government entities in Texas from condeming private property for strictly commercial purposes. Like similar legislation around the country, it was prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed the city of New London, Conn., to do just that.

Janek's bill has already passed the House. Approval by the Senate is expected, and from there it would go to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.

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