The Texas Senate approved an eminent domain bill intending to expand on current legislation. The bill’s author, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, said “This bill is designed to build off of Senate Bill 18 six years later as we’ve learned through the process that there are things that can be improved on.”

The bill, SB 740, would require a condemnor to clearly inform landowners that they have the right to speak with a representative of the condemnor and a representative of the Attorney General’s Office, as well as consult with a licensed real estate broker. An offer to purchase land for purposes of eminent domain must be at least 150 percent of the per-acre value as determined in the latest tax appraisal or one based on a certified appraisal. The condemnor would be prohibited from contacting a property owner for three days following the offer to allow time to consider it.

The bill now heads to the Texas House for consideration.