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Eminent domain reform, at last!

Texas Eminent DomainBy Kenneth Dierschke
President
Texas Farm Bureau

Congratulations, Texas. Eminent domain has been reformed!

Private property laws in the Lone Star State have entered the 21st Century. The take-it-or-leave-it attitude displayed by some condemning authorities will be replaced by good faith and cooperation.

It’s been a long time coming. Farm Bureau leaders and members in all 206 of our county organizations were major players in this high stakes game for many years.

Thanks to Gov. Perry for designating this issue as an emergency item, which paved the road for its smooth passage. Our appreciation goes to Gov. Perry for signing this important piece of private property rights legislation.

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Eminent domain reform in Texas property code will be positive for millions

Texas Eminent DomainBy Gene Hall
The long battle to achieve meaningful protection of private property rights in Texas with reform of eminent domain laws seems to be nearing a conclusion. This change in the Texas property code will be important to every property owner in the state.

When Governor Rick Perry designated the issue as an emergency item for the Texas Legislature on Jan. 11, chances for speedy approval of the legislation were greatly enhanced.  In the 2009 Legislature, the eminent domain reform bill—Senate Bill 18—had cleared the Senate and was awaiting House action, where near unanimous support was expected. Instead, the controversy over voter ID bogged down the House and eminent domain reform joined other important bills that did not get a vote. Similar issues, like the budget and redistricting, could have the same result this session.

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Texas water rights endangered by inefficient water use

Texas Water RightsBy Mike Barnett

Should my well be pumped dry to fill your swimming pool? That’s the million dollar Texas water rights question.

Texas landowners—concerned about their livelihoods and their private property rights—watch as the courts, and soon the legislature contemplate the use of this precious resource.

An influx of new residents could burst the Texas water pipeline. Experts predict a doubling of the state’s population in the next 50 years. Nobody’s predicting a doubling of water resources to meet those needs.

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Texas water rights are muddy at best

Texas Farm Bureau: Texas Water Rights

By Mike Barnett

“Water will become our most valuable asset—probably the most precious commodity we’ll have available in the next 50 years.” I heard that statement from a farmer the other night as I sat in on the Texas Farm Bureau District 8 Policy Development meeting. The discussion centered on the topic of Texas water rights with regard to underground water.

That comment is so true. The Texas population is expected to surge to 35 million in the next 30 years. Water will determine where that growth will occur, or if it will occur.

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Texas’ quest for private property rights

By Gene Hall

Texas’ reputation as a private property rights state is somewhat overrated. Some of our political leaders talk about it a lot, but our failure to address eminent domain reform in a meaningful way is proof enough that we are not what some claim we are. Still, Texans undeniably care about property rights. That is the reason there is real hope that we break through the entrenched interests that like eminent domain the way it is. 

Texas needs eminent domain reform.

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