Governor Signs King Bill to Protect Texas Landowners

May 21, 2013

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AUSTIN – This past weekend Governor Perry signed SB 655, sponsored by State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford), into law. This legislation clarifies and strengthens existing law related to eminent domain in Texas to prevent certain entities from exercising eminent domain for improper purposes.

“The legislature has made good strides over the past several years in protecting Texas landowners from abuses in the use of eminent domain,” King stated, “S.B. 655 adds to these protections by limiting the circumstances under which the ever-growing water and wastewater districts in Texas may exercise this authority. These districts will now be limited to exercising eminent domain only if the property they plan to take will be used for a public use, as opposed to ‘public purpose.’ The public use requirement is a much higher burden for the condemning authority to meet.”

S.B. 655 received more than a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature, and is therefore effective immediately.