With the primary elections over and a clear picture of who will run for public office in November, it is time to lay the groundwork for true eminent domain reform, said Larry Lehmberg, president of the Mason County Farm Bureau.
"Proposition 11 brought about beneficial change for property owners by limiting eminent domain powers of government to acquire land for non-public use," Larry said. "The Texas legislature will meet in 2011. We need them to finish the job in protecting the private property rights of all Texas landowners."
Texas has three times the number of privately owned acres of any other state in the nation.
"This is an issue that affects every landowner," Larry said. "Whether you own a ranch or a restaurant, eminent domain reform is something we can all agree on."
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) leaders have worked tirelessly to revamp outdated eminent domain laws. They were partially successful last November with Proposition 11, a constitutional amendment which restricts the state government from taking land not intended for public use. In past legislative sessions, eminent domain reform efforts died due to gubernatorial veto and end-of-session politics. Despite recent disappointments, Larry is confident of progress.
"Next January, lawmakers must quickly pick up where they left off last session," Larry said. "In order to prevent the issue from becoming buried, ask your state representative and senator to take a stand on eminent domain and finish what they started."