4/27/2011 10:19 PM
Speaker Joe Straus announced conferees on SB 18 -- the omnibus eminent domain and property rights bill. Straus appointed Reps. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Allan Ritter (R-Nederland), Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple), Rick Hardcastle (R-Vernon) and Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) to the subcommittee. This lineup contains some extremely strong proponents of private property rights. The House added several amendments to the bill that expanded the property rights provisions in the bill. Last week, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed Sens. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), John Whitmire (D-Houston), Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), and Chris Harris (R-Arlington) to the conference committee. SB 18 grants land-owners more rights when property is condemned for public use. It is strongly supported by Texas Agriculture interests.