Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Push to Amend Texas Constitution

Every state should follow:

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled local governments can buy out private land and then turn the property over to developers for economic development.

Some state lawmakers are trying to stop that through the Texas Constitution.

Less than a week after the Supreme Court ruling, some lawmakers say there should be a Texas constitutional safeguard to keep private property from being taken over for economic development reasons.

"The court said in its decision the states still have the power and abilities to restrict this power, and I think we have the opportunity to do it now," Rep. Frank Corte, Jr, R-San Antonio, said.

"And I would definitely not support any municipality profiting in the name of economic development by taking private property," Rep. Charles Anderson, R-Waco, said.

Local and state government in Texas has the power of eminent domain to pay for private land for public use.

But several House and Senate lawmakers say using it for economic development could line the pockets of private companies.

"And making money for individuals in my opinion is not a high public purpose," Rep. Garnett Coleman, D-Houston, said.