Quorum Report Daily Buzz Quorum Report Daily Buzz Login into the Quorum Report Subscribe toQuorum Report
Quorum Report Daily Buzz

June 20, 2016      4:45 PM

SB: Cook request for AG opinion on eminent domain puts Paxton in a difficult situation

Some Capitol observers wonder if the AG will help Chairman Cook block eminent domain powers in similar fashion to how he helped Gov. Abbott wrest more power from appropriators – especially given that Cook says Paxton defrauded investors

Texas House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook last week looked to the Attorney General’s Office for help in shoring up the rights of property owners as a company prepares to build a bullet train from Houston to Dallas – with the proposed corridor cutting through Cook’s rural district.

“It would be problematic if a company that does not have the power of eminent domain was entering or directing others to enter upon property it did not have the right to condemn,” Cook wrote to Ken Paxton’s office. “Thus, this issue is of great importance to Texans, especially rural Texans, whose property is already being entered upon in preparation for the initiation of eminent domain proceedings.”

Putting aside for the moment the question of whether the rail line would be good for the state and its thousands of “super commuters,” Cook’s request raises another topic of discussion at the Texas Capitol: Will Paxton issue an opinion helpful to the very member of The Legislature who says Paxton defrauded investors as part of the felony case against the AG?

By Scott Braddock