Sen. Nichols perpetuates 'last minute amendment' myth and supports Perry in veto of eminent domain bill
July 12, 2007
by Christina Campbell
Attendees at the monthly Athens Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, heard 3rd District State Senator Robert Nichols speak about the past session in the senate.
Nichols said he believes the future is good for Athens because this is a place people want to come to.
“And it is good to be the official home of the hamburger,” the senator said. “I was proud to be the Senate sponsor of the bill District 4 State Representative Betty Brown authored in the House.”
Nichols went on to tell the group about the “conservative swing” of bills passed in the Senate.
He said these bills included funding property tax cuts, toning down franchise taxes and extending property tax cuts to the elderly.
The Senate and the House also placed “In God We Trust” above their doorways, he said.
“We also added it to the Texas Constitution,” the senator said.
Funding was increased for the Texas Forest Service as well.
“The Forest Service is the emergency coordinator for the state in any emergency, so this is very important,” he said.
A $30 million grant was established for volunteer fire departments throughout the state as well, Nichols said.
Sen. Nichols said he was disappointed that an eminent domain bill he filed failed. The bill provided regulations to protect private property owners from the government seizing land for pubic use.
However, he is proud the property owners bill of rights passed and the castle doctrine that he co-authored.
“The castle doctrine gives you (homeowners) the right to shoot someone breaking in your home and there is no question about it,” Nichols said. “It is also extended to your vehicle.”
An eminent domain bill that was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry was previously voted for by Nichols.
He said a last minute amendment was added to the bill that many senators did not have time to review.
“It was a good bill with a terrible amendment,” Nichols said. “I supported the Governor’s veto. It was our (senate’s) fault the amendment got through — he did the right thing.”
Nichols spent the remainder of his time answering questions from local business leaders.
The Chamber will meet again in August.
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