[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Immediate ACTION Needed on TAKINGS BILLS

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org


Michigan has already suffered the outrageous impacts of BAD court decisions
regarding takings.  Now, federal legislation could worsen the situation, just
as a concerted effort is underway to try to unravel the worst decisions in
this state.  NO ONE needs this legislation -- Call your Congressional Rep and
both Senators Levin and Abraham and ask them to OPPOSE these bills!!

 202-224-3121  (If you don't know who your Congressional Representative is,
contact your county clerk or local government offices and find out.  Senators
Carl Levin and Spencer Abraham represent all of us in the Senate!)
 Tell your Members of Congress to oppose H.R. 1534 & S. 1204, because these 
 bill would:
        *Override local zoning laws that balance everyone's property rights; 
        *Harm homeowners and undermine environmental, health, and safety       
        *Expand opportunities to sue local governments; and,
        *Expand federal court authority over local issues and increase the     
         workload of an already overburdened federal judiciary.
 A big push to move takings legislation is underway in both the House and 
 Senate.  Time is of the essence in combating the Private Property Protection 
 Act of 1997, H.R. 1534, introduced by Rep. Gallegly (R-CA)  and the Property 
 Owners Access to Justice Act of 1997, S. 1204, introduced by Sens. Coverdell 
 (R-GA) and Landrieu (D-LA).  Takings legislation usually calls for taxpayer 
 payment to developers and others when they claim that an environmental or 
 public health protection reduces the value of their private property.  H.R. 
 1534 and S. 1204 would be no less destructive than the compensation and 
 assessment bills that have been introduced in many past sessions of Congress.
 Both H.R. 1534 and S. 1204 would allow those with a so-called takings claim 
 to proceed directly to the Court of Federal Claims bypassing the state courts 
 and locally elected officials.  Proponents of both bills claim that this 
 scheme would simplify access to federal courts, but what they fail to 
 publicize is the pandora's box of problems that would result.  Far from 
 simplify matters, both bills would literally turn local zoning disputes into 
 federal cases.  The result would undermine a wide variety of local, state and 
 federal protections for people, neighboring property and the environment and 
 destroy local land use planning that balances everyones rights.
 The House Judiciary Subcommittee has already approved H.R. 1534.  On Tuesday, 
 Oct. 7, the full Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on this bill, which 
 currently has 230 cosponsors.  Also on Oct 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee 
 has scheduled a hearing on S. 1204.  Both bills are likely to receive floor 
 time in October if they are reported out of committee.
 Urge your Members of Congress to join the 37 state Attorneys General, the 
 U.S. Conference of Mayors, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and 
 Judicial Conference of the U.S. and environmental, citizen, and labor groups 
 who oppose these bills.
 THANK YOU for your quick response!

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"