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TAKINGS ALERT! - H.R. 1534/S. 2271-- Same bill, new name



Posted on behalf of Great Lakes United <andy@glu.org> 

---
Folks..

Just in time for the weekend! - The Senate takings bill
has been reintroduced under a new name and number and 
slated for a vote on Monday 7/13.  

Currently: S.2271, "Property Rights Implementation Act"
also referred to as the "managers ammendment"

Formerly: H.R. 1534, "Citizens Access to Justice Act"

Two messages appended below give the details...
Don't let the name games fool your Senators!!!

..Andy

>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich message from Vicki Levengood <vlevengood@voyager.net>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>H.R.1534, the "takings" legislation that would result in a massive
>federal intrusion into local issues of land use, has been REPLACED by
>S.2271.  S.2271 is what's called a 'manager's amendment', but is nothing
>more than a substitute for H.R. 1534, and contains all of H.R.1534's
>objectionable content. Today S.2271 was introdcued and placed on the
>calendar, and will be voted on next Monday afternoon, 7-13-98. We
>believe the 'manager's amendment' is an attempt to confuse the issue and
>gain support for this bill. We urge you to contact Senators Levin
>(phone: 202-224-6221, fax: 202-224-1388) and Abraham (phone:
>202-224-4822, fax: 202-224-8834) and ask them to OPPOSE the takings bill
>S.2271. 
>
                 Environmental Policy Project's
                              Takings-Net

                           *     *     *     *     *

   The Senate takings bill has been reintroduced as S. 2271.  
Late on Thursday, July 9, Sen. Lott scheduled a cloture 
vote on the bill for 5:45p.m. on Monday, July 13.  A copy 
is available on the Thomas legislative database 
<http://thomas.loc.gov>, and the bill will also be posted on 
the EPP website (www.envpoly.org) as soon as it is 
available. 

   S. 2271 is identical to the substitute bill circulated by the 
Senate judiciary committee staff earlier this week and 
which the Environmental Policy Project analyzed in our 
e-mail notice of yesterday -- except in two minor respects.

   First, the name of the bill has been changed.  It is now the 
*Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998.*  

   Second, the language of section 6 of the bill creating a 
new 28 U.S.C. 1343(c)(1) has been altered.  The prior 
version was, *brings a prior or concurrent proceeding 
before a State, territory, or local tribunal as required under 
subsection (e)(3).*  Because there was no subsection (e)(3), 
this language made no sense, as we noted in the analysis 
distributed yesterday.  The present version is, *brings a 
prior or concurrent proceeding before a State, territory, or 
local tribunal as required under subsection (f)(3).*  While 
there is a subsection (f)(3) in the bill, the cross-reference 
still makes no sense.  Subsection (f)(3) eliminates the 
Williamson County requirement that a developer suing a 
local government first pursue available state or local 
judicial remedies.  Because subsection (f)(3) states that a 
developer need not bring a state or local court proceeding, 
the reference in revised section 6 of the bill to the filing of a 
state or local court action *as required under subsection 
(f)(3)* is nonsensical.

                           *     *     *     *     *

For more information, please contact John Echeverria 
or Peter Hoffmann at the Environmental Policy Project:
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
tel: (202) 662-9850
fax: (202) 662-9497
E-mail: envpoly@law.georgetown.edu 
EPP website: http://www.envpoly.org 


More Background from Vicky Levengood:
 
>For those of you who missed my previous posts on this issue, what
>follows are some specific talking points, along with the names of
>organizations on record as opposing this legislation.
>
>-- This legislation would impose unnecessary and inappropriate
>intervention by the federal courts in matters that are properly handled
>by local governments: local land use decisions. If federal judges are
>permitted to make decisions about how developers can use parcels of land
>in communities, community leaders and elected officials lose their power
>to ensure that land use decisions are appropriate for the current and
>expected use of nearby properties.
>
>-- This legislation is sponsored by large real estate developers, who
>don't care about whether there are liquor stores built next door to
>churches or elementary schools.  It is not hard to predict that this
>legislation will be used to undermine zoning restrictions which local
>communities have adopted.  The developers who want this legislation
>don't want to consult with local officials; they would rather take their
>complaints to federal judges who are less likely to even know, let alone
>take into
>account, what the community desires.
>
>-- This legislation can adversely affect existing environmental laws and
>regulations. In a letter to their Republican colleagues in the House or
>Representatives, Congressmen Castle, Boehlert, and Shays explained:
>
>"This bill would unsettle many areas of environmental law. The bill
>overrides the provisions in most environmental statutes that determine
>when and where new regulations can be challenged.  As a result, the
>regulated community will face an uncertain climate in which courts could
>challenge regulations at any time. In addition, the bill greatly expands
>the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, a court with no
>experience or precedents in determining the validity of regulations, a
>court with different procedural rules from other federal courts, and a
>court that has, at best, a questionable Constitutional claim to expanded
>authority."
>
>-- This legislation is opposed by the National Governors Association,
>U.S. Conference of Mayors, The National League of Cities, 40 state
>attorneys general, as well as a number of environmental organizations
>nationally and regionally. In Michigan, the following organizations have
>all signed a letter urging Levin and Abraham to oppose the legislation: 
>the Michigan Environmental Council, N.E.T./Michigan, PIRGIM, EMEAC,
>WMEAC, A.L.A. of Michigan, Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Lone Tree
>Council, Tipp of the Mitt Watershed, Citizens for Alternatives to
>Chemical Contamination, Michigan Ecumenical Consultation on Christianity
>and Ecology, and representatives of the Great Lakes Regional Land
>Conservanc. 
>
>Vicki Levengood
>National Environmental Trust / Michigan
>517-333-5786
>fax: 517.332.0363
>VLevengood@voyager.net