HB 71

86(R) - 2019
House Transportation
Senate Transportation
House Transportation
Senate Transportation
Eminent Domain
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

  • Negative
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Armando Martinez
Ryan Guillen


Eddie Lucio Jr.

Bill Caption

Relating to the creation of regional transit authorities; granting the power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds and charge fees; creating a criminal offense.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 71 would allow for the creation of Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) in counties contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico as well as in counties bordering said counties (particularly, certain areas of the Rio Grande Valley).  RTAs would have the power to construct and own/operate public transportation systems within their counties, would have the power to relocate or reroute the property of others, with written permission, and would also have the power of eminent domain (under certain circumstances) to construct and develop transportation systems. RTAs would additionally be able to hire fare enforcement officers, contract with third-parties, issue bonds and establish security forces.

RTAs would be governed by an executive committee appointed by the board of directors of the local Regional Planning Committee, and would be required to hold at least one meeting a month. The Regional Planning Commission would have the power to create RTAs, pending a public hearing and a public election.      

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action opposes this bill for violating the principles of property rights, free markets and limited governments. This bill would infringe on property rights by expanding eminent domain powers to these newly created entities. Additionally, the entities proposed by this bill would comprise an undue interference by government in the free market.