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Brady Challenges Texas High-Speed Rail Authority to Take Landowners Property

Asks State Legislators to Seek AG Opinion on Eminent Domain

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Conroe, February 5, 2016 | comments

Conroe, Texas – U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, who vigorously opposes the rural route of the proposed Texas high-speed rail project, is challenging their authority to condemn land under eminent domain for the controversial project.

Brady led the successful effort to defeat the proposed ‘bullet train’ through rural counties as a state legislator in the 1990’s. In a recent letter he requested the help of area state legislators in seeking an opinion from the Texas Attorney General. He also commended them for their leadership against the project in the recent session of the Legislature. 

“Taking property against a landowner’s will, especially land that may have been in the family for generations, is a serious matter. Because this is a state project, I am requesting your leadership in determining if Texas Central Partners has state eminent domain power. I question that it does.”

The high speed rail project is a private project wholly within Texas, and has not sought to be certified as a federal project – which if it occurs, Brady says he will fight. In 2014 Brady and House Republicans zeroed out all federal funding for President Obama’s high speed rail projects. Last year they successfully blocked any high-speed rail funding in the $8 billion reauthorization of AMTRAK – the passenger rail service primarily in the northeast.

Last summer Brady announced his opposition to the rural route, saying, “it divides and damages rural counties, communities and farms in my district, including Grimes, Madison and Leon counties. This route fractures our rural lifestyle without any direct benefits to our communities, families and businesses.”

State legislators Brady commended and requested the AG opinion from include: State senators Brandon Creighton, Robert Nichols and Charles Schwertner, and state representatives Trent Ashby, Will Metcalf, John Otto, Mark Keough, Cecil Bell and Leighton Schubert. 

To view the letter click here.

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