Action Alert: Contact Your State Legislator Today!
AB 2; Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Salinas)
For the third straight year, Asm. Alejo has introduced legislation that would restore eminent domain abuse and corporate welfare, aka “redevelopment!”
Contact Your State Senator and Assembly Member by Clicking Here!
A report by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office determined that California’s redevelopment agencies had failed in their mission to create net new jobs. In response, the California State Legislature and the Governor abolished redevelopment in 2012, saving California taxpayers over $5 billion dollars a year. This bi-partisan action may be California’s greatest legislative achievement – one that must be sustained.
Unfortunately, efforts are underway to resurrect redevelopment under another name, Community Revitalization Investment Authorities (CRIA). Just like redevelopment, CRIAs introduce the worst form of corporate welfare. They allow taxpayer dollars to be used to forcibly seize private property from unwilling sellers to make way for private development. As in the past, the combination of eminent domain and the potential for profit will only lead to abuse, wasteful spending and public corruption. Such charges are well documented. This is redevelopment’s legacy and one that will certainly be repeated if AB 2 becomes law.
The threat of eminent domain abuse is very real. We encouraged Assembly Member Alejo to amend AB 2 by introducing provisions that would prohibit government’s ability to seize property and essentially, give it to politically connected developers. This overture was ignored, underscoring that CRIA’s business model is dependent on acquiring private property on the cheap, with no regard to private property rights.
California is experiencing robust growth in jobs and tax revenue, demonstrating that redevelopment was abolished without any economic consequences to the State of California. In fact, it saved taxpayers over $5 billion – monies better spent on other public services.
As AB2 makes its way through the legislative process, members of the State Legislature need to decide whether they will acknowledge the 10-year anniversary (June 23, 2015) of the infamous Kelo v. City of New London decision by reaffirming their commitment to private property rights or by restoring redevelopment’s legacy of eminent domain for economic gain.
AB 2 is currently being considered in the State Senate after passing the State Assembly with the support of every Democrat and nearly half of all Republicans!