The Statesman editorial board asked the Governor to veto a bill about Texas beaches.
In the next-to-last day of the recent regular legislative session, lawmakers OK’d House Bill 770 to allow homestead exemptions for property from which homeowners had to move because of natural disaster damage.
Seems reasonable. What doesn’t seem reasonable is the amendment added in the session’s closing hours. …
What it does is allow Bolivar property owners to rebuild on their property even though it is now, as a result of Ike, on public beach land.
The article mentions the arguments of both sides, with advocates saying the bill is really “about eminent domain” and opponents (including Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson) arguing that there are other policies that need to be weighed.
But the Statesman seems most concerned about how this provision was added to the law.
The amendment makes a significant statement about public beaches and private property. Significant enough to warrant full legislative review, complete with public hearing.
Patterson, never a mincer of words, told the Houston Chronicle: “My opinion is just to say, ‘Screw you, Wayne Christian,’ because the Legislature didn’t pass this, one guy passed this.”
In his e-mail, Christian railed about Patterson’s “cursive language.”
We’re really not sure what “cursive language” is, but perhaps this falls under that header: Perry should veto the damn bill.
If the bill does become law, it might weigh on the pending case Severance v. Patterson, No. 09-0387 (DocketDB), a certified question from the Fifth Circuit asking about how Texas law deals with rolling easements on beaches.