Farmers’ group pushing for transparency in land acquisitions

With the state’s ever-increasing infrastructure needs, Texas farmers and ranchers are bracing for the likelihood of pipelines, transmission lines andrailways cutting through their fields and pastures.

But some say it’s unfair to allow private companies or other entities wielding the power of eminent domain to pressure landowners to accept lowball offers that don’t take into account the overall loss of value to their property.

“This may be the property rights issue of our time,” Texas Farm Bureau spokesman Gary Joiner said in a meeting this week with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board.

The Texas Senate on April 4 approved an eminent domain reform bill by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, in a 28-3 vote. Supporters say the legislation would require entities using eminent domain to treat landowners more fairly.

Read more from Lynn Brezosky with San Antonio Express-News here.