There are three eminent domain bills this session but HB 3547 is the only one that is worth a flip.
Currently Otis Anybody and his evil sister, Jess Anybody, can check a box on a Railroad Commission (RRC) form declaring they are a common carrier (like your water company) and they get to use eminent domain to take private property for their financial gain.
HB 3547, authored by Rep. Rene Oliveira, creates an objective process that includes the State Office Of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) to determine who is a common carrier and can use eminent domain.
The hearing on Oliveira’s bill is Tuesday at 1:30 pm in Austin before the Business & Industry Committee.
Here is what you can do in order of importance:
- All of the below.
- Go to Austin and testify in support of this bill. It is critical that Texas Landowners attend this hearing and share with the committee their concerns about the common carrier pipeline designation process (or lack thereof).
- If you don’t want to testify at the hearing, sign up on the “witness”computers in the hall and register your support for HB 3547. While you are there, go visit the committee members in their offices.
- If you simply can’t get to Austin, call the committee members and the committee clerk and have all your friends and relatives call. Make sure the committee clerk gets your name and counts your call.
- Send an email to the committee members and the committee clerk.
Please be sure you are supporting HB 3547, the only pipeline eminent domain bill that is worth a flip. The competing bills can’t compete with this one because they leave everything up to the RRC.
This bill helps all landowners including those concerned about tar sands pipelines and fracking.
This bill requires a review for common carriers who will pay a fee:
- Applicant for common carrier will pay a fee and will be subject to review.
- During the review process, there is at least one public hearing
- Landowners will have access to SOAH, an agency that is more independent than the RRC to help ensure a better process for the landowners.
Landowners need access to a process that is more fair with access to the courts for remedy before condemnation begins— not after as we’ve seen with landowners we know.
WHAT: Business & Industry Committee Hearing on HB 3547
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, 2013 (or when the House stands adjourned, if that is later than 1:30 p.m.)
WHERE: E2.014, Texas Capitol Extension
Calls and emails to the following Committee Members are needed: