Wednesday, April 05, 2006
By MARK BALLARD
Capitol news bureau
Legislation that would stop government from taking someone’s property and giving it to a private business moved forward Tuesday in the first action taken on an issue that attracted more bills than any other this session.
The Senate Judiciary A Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 1, which would forbid in the state constitution a public agency from taking a person’s private property to bolster economic development.
LA. POLITICAL NEWS SERVICE COMMENTARY:
PROPERTY RIGHTS IS THE ISSUE OF THE SESSION!
IT’S A FIGHT TO PROTECT PROPERTY RIGHTS FROM BIG GOVERNMENT, BIG BUSINESS THAT WANTS TO TAKE LAND AND BUREAUCRATS!
With the passage of Senator Joe McPherson’s bill to the Senate, it has become quite obvious that property rights is the issue of the session. Governor Blanco has also stepped into this fight on the side of those who would deny property rights to the people of Louisiana. She is supporting legislation that will put big government and bureaucrats on the side of large oil companies in their efforts to avoid paying for the cleanup of Louisiana.
Blanco is siding with government and some business in her effort to deny the right of property to seek redress of their claims against large oil companies who have spent years polluting land and water all over Louisiana, while, at the same time, avoiding paying for the cleanup. However, while she is making the bureaucrats and large oil companies happy, Blanco is also making enemies like timber companies, landowners, farmers, small business owners, and small property owners.
In fact, the backlash to Blanco’s efforts is so strong that a new group has been formed, the Property Owners for Louisiana and they have taken to the airwaves to express their anger with Blanco’s efforts.
There are two groups caught in the middle. Lawyers will have a heyday with Blanco’s law. Rather than allowing a jury to decide the damage and cleanup cost, Blanco’s bill will force property owners to go to court and, then, go to various governmental agencies to obtain relief. The result: litigation costs will soar, lawyers will be made fatter, and bureaucrats will control the outcome.
Also caught in the middle is the small oil company, especially Louisiana companies. LABI is apparently siding with large oil companies in their effort to keep the small oil operators liable for the damage to land and water done by the large oil companies.
Before this fight is over, LPNS predicts: small Louisiana oil companies, along with many others, will turn on Blanco and cause her even more political trouble.