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HB 585 would amend the Transportation Code to require the Texas Transportation Commission to hold a public meeting concerning a privately owned turnpike or toll project that connects to a road, bridge, or highway in the state highway system. The meeting(s) must be held in the region(s) where the project is slated to take place.
This legislation also would prohibit a corporation from exercising eminent domain power (e.g. a toll road contractor or concessionaire).
This legislation would prohibit a private company from being able to utilize eminent domain power. In our view it is inappropriate for a private entity to assume the powers of eminent domain under the auspices of a consenting government (or quasi-governmental) agency. We strongly support this legislation for the effort to curtail eminent domain abuse.
We also appreciate its devotion to transparency by requiring regional public meetings regarding any new toll projects.
We support HB 565 on the grounds of our property rights and individual liberty principles.