Four years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo decision, which essentially changed private property ownership from a fundamental civil right to a privilege granted by the state at its sole discretion.
Texas has failed to adequately respond to this decision. The first attempt in 2005 missed the mark. In 2007, the Legislature passed strong property rights protections in HB 2006, but the bill was subsequently vetoed over concerns about compensation.
SB 18 is this legislative session’s eminent domain reform bill. However, it was recently stripped in the Senate State Affairs Committee of two key reforms. As it stands today, there is a good chance that after the legislature adjourns, Texas property owners will still be subject to the same takings that outraged the nation in the Kelo case.