Action Alert: Contact Your State Legislator Today!
AB 1292; Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Salinas)
Asm. Alejo has introduced yet another bill to expand government’s power of eminent domain – but now he has gone too far this time!
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Assembly Bill 2492, authored by Assembly Member of Luis Alejo, is expected to earn bi-partisan support on April 27th, the same day the League of California Cities holds its annual Legislative Action Day at the State Capitol.
AB 2492, which has been dubbed “the Wonderful Land Grab Bill,” will reveal how many Republicans and Democrats in the California State Legislature share Trump’s view that “eminent domain is wonderful.” Both conservative and liberal presidential candidates have condemned Trump’s position on eminent domain, and the billionaire businessman’s failed effort to seize a little old lady’s New Jersey home by eminent domain in order to build a limousine parking lot for a proposed casino.
“Only Donald Trump could appreciate Assembly Member Alejo’s efforts to make it easier for corporate interests to profit by acquiring homes and small businesses on the cheap,” said Marko Mlikotin, president of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. “This legislation leaves California property owners defenseless against overreaching government and powerful business interests who crave the power of eminent domain.”
AB 2492 expands eminent domain powers granted by AB 2 (Alejo), legislation signed into law last year with bi-partisan support. While the author characterizes the bill as mere “clean-up” legislation to AB 2, AB 2492 vastly expands the circumstances private property can be seized if a neighborhood or community conforms to an overly-broad definition of presumptive blight. The legislation also allows local governments the flexibility to declare census blocks or census tracts blighted, whichever of the two allows them to maximize the amount of land seized. In addition, presumptive blight designations take into account crime statistics and unemployment rates, which often fluctuate, and the condition of public infrastructure. Many of the criteria are beyond the control of property owners, as if they are responsible for local government’s failure to police communities and maintain public infrastructure. In summary, property regardless of its condition, would be susceptible to eminent domain abuse.
By no coincidence, Assembly Bill 2492 will be heard on the same day hundreds of locally elected officials gather for the League of California Cities’ annual Legislative Action Day. The bill will be heard, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in the State Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.