By Steve Pringle
TFB Legislative Director
For years, Texas claimed to be a property rights state. Our politicians waxed eloquent on the stump about the sanctity of private property in Texas. Sometimes you get the idea that Davy Crockett died at the Alamo strictly because of Mexico’s eminent domain policy. It was, however, a sham. Texas, until the legislative session of 2011, had one of the nation’s worst eminent domain laws.
In that session, a decade-long battle resulted in substantial improvement. Now, only two years later, the Legislature is poised to surrender many of the gains in that landmark legislation. It’s called House Bill 2748 and it’s one of the worst ideas to emerge in the Legislature this session. If it passes, we’ll no longer be certain that private lands will not be taken to enrich other private interests. It once again greases the skids for pipeline companies to take private property—as they used to tell so many—“because we can.”