The Texas House has unanimously approved a bill that would regulate the ability of governments to seize property using the power of eminent domain.
The proposed law specifies the process by which private property could be seized under "eminent domain." The property could only be taken if it is needed for public use, such as highways or schools.
The government would be required to make a "bona fide" offer to buy the property from landowners.
Lawmakers have been tinkering with the state's eminent domain law for years as concern mounted about governments abusing their constitutional power to seize private land. Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has designated the eminent domain bill a legislative emergency.