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District 80 State Representative Tracy O. King (D-Uvalde), joined several of his colleagues last week in attending the signing of Senate Bill 1133, relating to a program to compensate landowners for property damage caused by certain criminal activities.
This legislation establishes a grant program under the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to compensate landowners who suffered property damage from certain offenses on agricultural land.
“Ranchers and farmers have reported significant losses and property damage from increased smuggling activity along the Texas border,” Rep. King said. “This will provide them an avenue to apply for funds to assist with those damages.”
Property owners in both Frio and La Salle counties have repeatedly called for action by local government and state legislators in helping recover compensation for damage to fences, fixtures and structures incurred by smugglers fleeing from law enforcement, including those transporting undocumented immigrants. Sheriffs Mike Morse and Anthony Zertuche have weighed in on the debate and have implemented policies on pursuits to help minimize threats to local residents’ safety, although pursuits in rural areas continue by local and state agencies.
The legislation further provides direction to the Office of the Attorney General on how to prioritize the grant application and caps the amount of compensation dispensed for each submission.
Rep. King can be reached for information on the legislation at his Capitol office at (512) 463-0194.