by Timothy Sandefur
Last year's eminent domain "reform" in Texas was an Texas-sized fraud–a bill designed to do nothing but fool voters into thinking something had been done to protect their property, when in fact nothing was done. I detail this more extensively in this article. But there was some hope this year that the state legislature would amend the law and add some real protections for property rights. But Governor Perry has torpedoed the bill with a veto, claiming that it would make roadway projects too expensive. In fact, it appears the veto was intended simply to allow redevelopers broad powers to keep on taking people's property away. Here's the response from the Texas Public Policy Foundation:
"Texas property owners were depending on the state to strengthen property rights protections to prevent Kelo-style takings from occurring in Texas.
"Unfortunately, this veto exposes property owners from Freeport to El Paso to the very real threat of eminent domain.
"Although the public outcry against Kelo was overwhelming, many government entities that are in the business of taking private property from its citizens celebrated the Kelo decision for making their job easier. They are celebrating again today."