Friday, Texas Governor Rick Perry added eminent domain to the special legislative session agenda. He's asking lawmakers to take swift action to protect the private property rights of all Texans. It's a response to a Supreme Court decision made just two weeks ago.
The ruling allows any government entity to seize your property for private use if they can prove that doing so will serve "the public good." That means local governments can seize homes, businesses and property for private development. The owners are compensated, but their property is taken against their will. Legal experts say cities are pushing the use of eminent domain to make way for shopping centers, industrial parks and even sports stadiums.
Now, two Lubbock City Councilmen are answering Governor Perry's call for action. They are going to Austin to fight for your property rights. Councilmen Jim Gilbreath and Gary Boren have co-sponsored a resolution calling on our state government to support a law that will place limitations on eminent domain.
"We do not want to allow any government entity to take anyone property, home business, whatever for economic development gain if they don't want to sell," said Councilman Boren.
Gilbreath and Boren, as well as Perry, want an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would prohibit the use of eminent domain seizures, if the primary purpose is economic development. The councilmen want to see the issue on the ballot in November so that the citizens of Texas can voice their opinion on the matter.
Boren's not saying that eminent domain should never be used, but rather should only be implemented after careful consideration.
"It's one thing to do it for a road, a highway, to run water lines serve our community, but to force people to sale property using the government as their condemnation partner, that's not right," said Boren.
Boren and Gilbreath will take their resolution before the Lubbock City Council on July 14th to ask for their support before sending it to our legislative delegation in Austin.
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