The PunkVoter initiative continues to spread the word on various issues leading up to the mid-term elections in the US. Alternative Tentacles head Jello Biafra and Fat Mike of NOFX / Fat Wreck Chords have come out in opposition of California's Proposition 90. Frisk frontman Jesse Luscious posted the following on the issue:
Prop 90- bans most zoning and eminent domain moves by government unless fair market value is paid to the owner. It may also require reimbursement for loss of revenue due to workplace safety regulations, rent control regulations, environmental laws, or any other regulation which negatively affects the value of properties or businesses. Yes, there's been some egregious abuse of eminent domain by local governments, and the US Supreme Court's pro-eminent domain decision 2 years ago was a terrible decision. However, this proposition goes much much further.
By mandating that cities, counties, and the state reimburse landowners and business owners for the effects of zoning, worker safety, rent control, and environmental laws, the proposition effectively ends most local regulation of developers. For instance, a landowner can say "I want to build a 10 story casino which pays minimum wage and is powered by a coal furnace in downtown Berkeley." When Berkeley turns down the proposal because of existing zoning, green building, and living wage laws, the city must reimburse the landowner for the "loss" of revenue from the rejected project because these laws have decreased its value. If this passes, then government can either go bankrupt or remove many useful common-sense local laws, leaving our entire state open to whatever project for-profit developers come up with. Oregon, which just enacted a similar law and is 1/10th the population of California, is currently facing $5 Billion in related lawsuits.
This is a trojan horse proposition like Proposition 13 was in 1978- presented as a tax break for small property owners, it ended up stripping away most existent education funding and California tumbled from #1 in per-pupil spending in the 1970s to #47 this month. Proposition 90 is a truly terrible proposition.
PunkVoter has linked the site No on 90 for more information.