SB 979

85(R) - 2017
Senate Transportation
Senate Transportation
Eminent Domain
Property Rights
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Charles Schwertner

Bill Caption

Relating to the acquisition and disposition of real property intended for high-speed rail projects.

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 979 would require that land acquired by a private entity for a high-speed rail project "through the threat of the exercise of a purported power of eminent domain" would be legally bound to use that land in the high-speed rail project. Otherwise, before any sale of the land can be attempted, the original owner must be afforded the opportunity to reacquire the property. Essentially this gives the owner of the property taken under eminent domain first right of refusal to buy it back in the event that the property is not used for the private high speed rail project.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill supports the principle of property rights by making provision for reclamation of land seized, but not used, for a high-speed rail project. For this reason, we support SB 979.

On another note we are highly skeptical of the use of eminent domain for private transportation projects in the first place. Property rights should be jealously guarded against the prospect of eminent domain takings by private entities.

Organizations Supporting

Texans for Toll-free Highways
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Texas Farm Bureau
Texas TURF

Organizations Opposed

City of Arlington
City of Dallas
City of San Antonio