FORT WORTH, Texas - The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today applauded Governor Rick Perry's designation of eminent domain reform as an emergency item during the opening day ceremonies of the 82nd state legislative session.

"Eminent domain reform is badly needed and today we are one step closer to that becoming a reality," said Dave Scott of Richmond, rancher and president of the TSCRA.

"Property owners across Texas have been working to reform eminent domain laws for years. Legislation must get signed into law this year before more property owners are negatively impacted," Scott said.

"We appreciate the efforts and leadership of Governor Perry on this issue and look forward to working with him and the Legislature as this important legislation works through the legislative process," Scott continued.

TSCRA supports Senate Bills 18 and 180 filed by Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and House Bill 279 filed by Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth). This legislation helps reform the eminent domain laws in Texas by requiring the following:
• A public and record vote to initiate eminent domain proceedings.
• All entities with eminent domain authority to register with the Comptroller by December 2012.
• Condemning entities to make a bona fide offer in writing and if not, pay the property owner's expenses and attorneys fees.
• Impairment of direct access to the remaining property be identified and taken into consideration when determining compensation.
• Land to be sold back at the price it was condenmed if not used within 10 years.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.