Bill Would Make It Harder To School Districts To Exercise Eminent Domain: KWTX-TV, Waco TX, 3/28/07

Public school districts would be required to study at least three different properties before they can forcibly buy private property to construct new buildings, under a measure tentatively adopted by the Texas House Wednesday.

Such a feasibility study would force school districts to prove to landowners ``that that's the right piece of property,'' for them to build on, said the bill's author, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford.

Under King's bill, the study would have to be conducted by a licensed engineer or architect and must include costs and benefits to the district.

The district could study just one site if the district shows that it is the only location suitable.

Supporters say the use of eminent domain in Texas is widespread with few rules to ensure fairness.

Critics argued that the requirement is too burdensome and costly to the school districts, which would probably pass the costs on to taxpayers.

KWTX-TV, Waco TX: http://www.kwtx.com