Next Tuesday will be eminent domain day in the House Land & Resource Management Committee. LRM will hear 8 eminent domain-related bills, including HB 2730 by Chairman Deshotel and HB 901 by Rep. Burns. HB 2730 represents the culmination of two years of work by the Coalition for Critical Infrastructure (CCI), a project of TCJL, to offer a bill that addresses landowner concerns about the fairness, transparency, and accountability of the eminent domain process. HB 901 represents the landowner’s perception of where negotiations left off on the issue last session. Efforts continue to reconcile differences between the two approaches. We urge TCJL and CCI members to register support for HB 2730 next Tuesday.

As you recall, Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne) has introduced two bills, HB 901 and HB 902, proposing reforms to the eminent domain process. HB 901 contains two primary components: (1) standardized statutory easement terms for private essential infrastructure entities with eminent domain authority (i.e., pipeline and electric transmission entities); and (2) a requirement that the infrastructure entity provide the financial basis of an initial offer of compensation. Unlike the landowners’ bill last session, HB 901 does not contain any provisions relating to landowner meetings. Rep. Burns has indicated his intent to incorporate the meeting provisions in HB 902 into HB 901.

HB 2730, by Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), the “CCI bill,” represents the collective effort of CCI members during the interim to produce a proposal addressing landowner concerns to which all CCI members could agree. Like HB 901, HB 2730 addresses easement terms and the basis of the initial offer, although in somewhat different respects. HB 2730 goes beyond HB 901 in also addressing: (1) landowner meetings, (2) the language and presentation of the Landowners Bill of Rights, (3) education requirements for right-of-way agent certification, (4) the creation of an ombudsman at the Texas Real Estate Commission to assist landowners with their questions, and (5) key deadlines to improve the efficiency of the special commissioners process.

COMMITTEE:    Land & Resource Management

TIME & DATE:  8:00 AM, Tuesday, March 30, 2021

PLACE:       E2.010
CHAIR:       Rep. Joe Deshotel


HB 1200        Morales, Christina
Relating to clarification of the law regarding the regulation of historic or culturally significant structures, objects, sites, or districts by certain municipalities.
HB 3312        Harris
Relating to the disposition of real property acquired for high-speed rail projects.
HB 3633        Leman | et al.
Relating to establishing a High-Speed Rail Legislative Review Committee; authorizing a fee.
HB 2041        Leman
Relating to the disclosure of appraisal reports in connection with the use of eminent domain authority.
HB 2044        Leman
Relating to establishing actual progress for the purposes of determining the right to repurchase real property from a condemning entity.
HB 448         Bailes | et al.
Relating to the right of property owners to file complaints against certain entities regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas regarding alleged misconduct by the entities while exercising eminent domain authority; providing a civil penalty.
HB 3385        Rogers
Relating to a landowner’s bill of rights statement in connection with the acquisition of real property through eminent domain.
HB 901         Burns | et al.
Relating to the acquisition of real property by an entity with eminent domain authority.
HB 2730        Deshotel
Relating to the acquisition of real property by an entity with eminent domain authority.

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