ICYMI REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol Legislative Priorities, Part I

What a gorgeous day it was to be at the Capitol on April 4! If you weren’t able to join us, let’s recap some of our most important legislative priorities that were discussed with our representatives in Austin. Please call your representatives today to voice your opinion.

Eminent Domain

TAR believes property owners should be treated fairly and protected from abusive eminent domain practices. The exercise of eminent domain authority, while considered a necessary tool of government, can be easily abused and expanded. Since 2005, Texas has continually worked to strengthen property owner protections in eminent domain proceedings, including the passage of Proposition 11 in 2009. However, some issues remain unresolved, and without further reform, property owners are still at risk. To this end, we support a variety of House and Senate bills currently proposed in this legislative season:

HB 528 (Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy)
HB 2076 (Rep. Leighton Schubert, R-Caldwell)
HB 2556 (Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall)
HB 2684 (Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne)
HB 2694 (Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan)
HB 3687 (Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin)
SB 555 (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)
SB 626 & 627 (Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown)
SB 740, 741, & 742  (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)

What the bills do

  • Delineate future uses and restrictions for the condemned property (HB 2684, 2694, 3687 and SB 740 and 742)
  • Clarify and expand the definition of a true bona fide offer in condemnation proceedings (HB 2556, 2694 and SB 741)
  • Require timely disclosure of new appraisals to property owners during the condemnation process (HB 2684, 2694 and SB 740)
  • Award property owners damages and reasonable expenses and fees in certain cases (HB 2684, 3687 and SB 740)
  • Restrict and penalize unauthorized or unwanted access to the property by a condemning entity or representative (SB 755 and627)
  • Allow for Special Commissioners Courts to consider additional information when determining actual damages (HB 2684 and SB 741)
  • Expand the definition of whether “actual progress” has been made on a project when determining rights to repurchase property from a condemning authority (HB 528 and 2076)
  • Require a condemning authority to make a separate offer for any property not reasonably necessary to complete the project (SB 626)

Election Transparency

Ballot measures establish an additional means of direct democracy by enabling citizens to vote directly on proposed statewide constitutional amendments and local policy. However, because the layout of ballots is determined at the county level in Texas, there are no clear ordering requirements. This means local propositions may appear before statewide amendments or even candidate races. Voters are also commonly presented with multiple ballot measures with the same or substantially similar names. For example, “Proposition 1” appeared as many as five times on a single ballot in Travis County in 2015. TAR supports creating clear statewide standards for ballot ordering and naming of state and local propositions to ensure voter transparency.


HB 270 & 273 (Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock)
SB 1149, 1150, & 1766  (Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway)

What the bills do

  • Require that all statewide propositions must appear on the ballot before local propositions
  • Require all propositions include the name of the authoring entity (e.g., “City of Lakeway,” or “Arlington ISD”)
  • Assign each statewide proposition a number (e.g., “State of Texas Proposition 1”) and each local proposition an alpha character (e.g., “City of Dallas Proposition A”)

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)Our position

Transportation network companies provide a safe, efficient solution to many of the transportation challenges Texans are facing. Currently, TNCs in Texas are regulated at the municipal level, resulting in a patchwork of inconsistent rules that can change by the street, especially in denser urban and suburban areas. TAR supports creating clear statewide standards for transportation network companies. These bills create a statewide framework for transportation network companies. TNCs play an integral role in a multimodal approach to resolving the state’s transportation challenges.

HB 100 (Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall)
HB 3931 (Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler)
SB 113 (Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas)
SB 176 (Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown)
SB 361 (Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville)