By a 7-1 vote, CSHB 2730, now co-authored by House Land and Resource Management Committee Chair Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont) and House Agriculture Committee Chair Dewayne Burns (R-Cleburne) was voted favorably from committee this morning. The bill now heads to the House Calendars Committee for placement on the House Calendar. The last day for the House to consider House bills on second reading is May 13.
CSHB 2730 largely embodies proposals for eminent domain reform put forward by the Coalition for Critical Infrastructure (CCI), a project of the Texas Civil Justice League initiated at the beginning of the 2017 session to engage with landowner groups. At this point, the bill represents an agreement between the bill authors, CCI, the Texas Farm Bureau, and the Texas Association of Realtors. The Texas Wildlife Association is neutral on the bill, while the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association remains opposed to the deal. The authors, CCI, TFB, and TAR have also jointly signed a letter committing to keeping CSHB 2730 clean all the way to the Governor’s desk, as well as to observing a five-year pause in further major eminent domain legislation. Getting the bill to this point is a significant achievement by the CCI team, spearheaded by TCJL General Counsel Lisa Kaufman. If you have an interest in this bill, please contact your House and Senate members and encourage them to support the agreement. Please also express your appreciation for Rep. Deshotel and Rep. Burns for working to bring the parties together to achieve meaningful eminent domain reform for the benefit of Texas property owners.