“Gov. Perry has sent the message loud and clear that he does not support private property rights.”
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 18, 2007-The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association was shocked by the news that Gov. Perry has vetoed the most important property rights legislation Texas has seen in decades.
“Gov. Perry has sent the message loud and clear that he does not support private property rights,” said Jon Means, TSCRA president. “H.B. 2006 would have restored fairness to the condemnation process and ensured that property owners are justly compensated for their loss.”
Reportedly, the veto resulted from an amendment added to the bill by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) that would have required the special commissioners in a condemnation case to consider loss of access when determining compensation for the landowner. This amendment applied only to state highway projects. It would not have affected county or city road projects. The Texas Department of Transportation argued that the amendment would result in up to $1 billion in additional costs, but offered no data to support this claim.
“Prior to the 1993 decision by the Texas Supreme Court in Schmidt v. State, landowners were compensated for diminished access,” said Ed Small, legal counsel for TSCRA. “The state treasury didn’t go bankrupt prior to 1993 because of this and it wouldn’t go bankrupt if this bill were to become law.”
“We applaud Sen. Hegar for his valiant effort on behalf of landowners across Texas,” said Jon Means. “We are, however, extremely disappointed that in this state it is apparently acceptable for the government to take people’s property without paying them for their damage.”
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 130-year-old trade organization whose 14,800 members manage approximately 3.7 million head of cattle on 96.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. It provides law enforcement services, livestock inspection, legislative and regulatory advocacy and education opportunities for its members.
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