Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"If the measure passes strongly it will signal a continued public demand for protection of private property."

Proposition 11 Merits Solid Support

Texas' constitutional amendment will provide another important step towards protecting private property rights

October 20, 2009

Copyright 2009

Proposition 11 strikes back against the Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo v. City of New London ruling that private property can be taken by the government for the private benefit of another for economic development purposes or increasing tax revenue.

If passed, Proposition 11 would specifically prohibit the use of eminent domain power, "for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenue."

This was a very serious threat in the original Trans Texas Corridor plan. When that plan became law in 2003 it included the power to take land for ancillary facilities for the express purpose of generating revenue. Since then the legislature removed that sweeping authority. Proposition 11 would ensure that such power is never restored.

Incremental protection.

Additionally, Proposition 11 would restrict the expansion of eminent domain authority to more public or private entities; and, would limit excessive use of eminent domain to eliminate urban blight.

Constitutional Amendments vs. Statute.

Constitutional amendment are (and should be) drawn in broad strokes. Details should be left to legislation and case law.

Are more protections needed?


Even if Proposition 11 passes, additional protections will be required to fully protect our private property rights. In 2007 the legislature overwhelmingly passed law (HB-2006) that would have provided much needed protection. Unfortunately, our Governor objected to granting those protections and vetoed that law.

What message will you send the Legislature?

The votes cast FOR or AGAINST Proposition 11 will serve as an indicator of public interest in protecting private property rights.

If the measure passes strongly it will signal a continued public demand for protection of private property. If the measure fails, it will signal a loss of public concern over private property rights.

Those of us who still want to see strong protections (like HB-2006) adopted into statute need Proposition 11 to pass by a large margin.

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