Ellzey sponsors bill to limit high-speed rail

Legislation aims to restrict eminent domain on transportation projects such as Texas Central proposal

Staff report
Jake Ellzey

Ellis County U.S. Congressman Jake Ellzey and ranking member Kevin Brady have introduced the High-Speed Rail Land Acquisition Assurance Act to protect the property rights of Americans.

For several years, Texas Central Partners’ High-Speed Rail project has been a topic of much discussion and several legal actions. Ellis County makes up a substantial portion of the proposed route. This has placed the issue among the top talking points for elected representatives running for offices ranging from County Commission to Congress.

This bill ensures that Texas Central’s high-speed rail and other high-speed rail projects cannot seize taxpayer land for projects that will never be started. The High-Speed Rail Land Acquisition Assurance Act as filed will require companies to acquire all the land needed to finish a high-speed rail project before construction can begin.

“This bill is about protecting private property rights, which is what Texas was built on,” Ellzey said. “I will never give in when it comes to opposing private interests using eminent domain to take someone’s property. Land cannot be taken, homes destroyed, and lives disrupted for a private company’s boondoggle. The High-Speed Rail Land Acquisition Assurance Act will protect land that families have owned for generations and depended on for their livelihoods.”

“Many questions remain about Texas Central’s plans to build and finance this controversial high-speed rail project, and I support any necessary reforms that will protect the rights of landowners whose farms, ranches, and homes sit along their proposed route,” said Congressman Brady. “Our government was created to protect our liberties—not take them away—and I will continue to fight against anything that would grant this company the ability to seize rural landowners’ property without their consent.”

Ellzey is helping lead the charge in Congress against high-speed rail projects and their use of eminent domain. Filing the High-Speed Rail Land Acquisition Assurance Act is the first step in ensuring the protection of Americans’ property rights.