Another Showdown over Eminent Domain


by Timothy Sandefur

The Capitol Weekly, the newspaper for the California legislature, has this article about the eminent domain bills currently going around in Sacramento, and focusing largely on ACA 8, the alleged eminent domain reform bill that actually does virtually nothing to change the current law. Excerpt:

"There is simply no justification for protecting owner-occupied properties, but not rentals and investment properties," wrote Cal-Tax's Teresa Casazza in her letter formally opposing the proposed constitutional amendment. "It sets up a system whereby constitutional rights are diminished depending on the use of the property."

ACA 8 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee Tuesday on a party-line vote.
Proponents were optimistic that Republicans would remain neutral on the measure as negotiations continue. But those hopes were dashed as the committee voted under the watchful eye of Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel. Walters was the legislative champion of the effort to pass Proposition 90 last year, and has her own eminent domain measure pending in the Legislature….

ACA 8 is primarily meant as a preventative measure, seeking to head off attempts by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other property rights groups to qualify a measure for the June 2008 ballot…. Michael Shaw, spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses said De La Torre's measure was a "superficial" fix to a much larger problem. "This measure does not go far enough to prevent the abuses we've seen across the country and across the state," he said.

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