Check out the latest in Texas eminent domain news.
Texas House committee holds hearings on high speed rail project legislation Tuesday
The Texas House Committee on Land & Resource Management held hearings Tuesday on multiple bills that will affect the Texas Central High Speed Rail Project that will run from Houston to Dallas if completed.
House Bill 3633 would create a state agency or a department within an existing agency with the authority to regulate the use of eminent domain related to the high speed rail project.
TFB: Landowners deserve fair, transparent eminent domain process
Source: Morning Ag Clips
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) President Russell Boening of Wilson County testified in Austin in support of the committee substitute for HB 901 (CSHB 901) at a public hearing of the House Committee on Land and Resource Management. The legislation by State Rep. DeWayne Burns of Cleburne includes language agreed to by TFB in 2019 to ensure landowners get a fair bona fide offer and required easement terms with the initial offer.
“Over the past four years of working for meaningful eminent domain reform, Texas Farm Bureau’s goal has been simple—give the landowner a process where they can legitimately negotiate a fair deal,” Boening said to the committee.
In Houston, a Plan to Expand Interstate 45 Encounters Federal Pushback
Source: The Texas Observer
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is planning to expand Interstate 10 as part of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project: a $7.5 billion initiative to expand I-45 from downtown Houston north to Beltway 8 and rebuild and reroute parts of the downtown loop. Community groups in Houston have been organizing for years to stop the expansion project.
On March 8, the Federal Highway Administration sent a letter to TxDOT requesting that the agency pause activity on the project until the federal agency could investigate “serious” civil rights concerns. Days later, Harris County filed a lawsuit against TxDOT in federal court, alleging the agency had “ignored serious harms” and disregarded community concerns during a “flawed” environmental review process.
Judge rules government can take South Texas family’s land despite Biden’s ‘pause’ on wall
Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times
The government can take immediate possession of land in the town of Mission as part of the border wall even though President Joe Biden has said he does not plan to push forward with the project, a federal judge in South Texas has ruled.
“The Court grants the United States’ motion and orders all people or entities in possession or control of the Subject Property to surrender possession or control of said property to the extent of the estate being condemned to the United States, immediately,” U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez wrote in her ruling handed down this week.
Biden administration backs pipeline in Supreme Court land dispute
Source: The Hill
The Biden administration is siding with a pipeline company in a dispute over whether it can seize land from the state of New Jersey in order to complete construction.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last month after a lower court ruled against the use of eminent domain to acquire land for the PennEast gas pipeline.