SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Californians for Property
Rights Protection announced today that they are submitting more than one
million signatures to qualify the California Property Owners and Farmland
Protection Act (CPOFPA) for the June 2008 ballot. This eminent domain
reform measure will stop government from taking homes, family farms, small
business and places of worship and giving the land to other private
"We are submitting this ballot measure to prevent government from
snatching private property from unwilling sellers to benefit wealthy and
politically connected developers," said former Senator Jim Nielsen and
chairman of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights.
"California law needs to be changed to protect all California property
owners from eminent domain abuse."
"Our members have worked hard to achieve their piece of the American
Dream," said California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Chairman Ken Macias.
"Hispanic business owners deserve private property protections. This
initiative is the only measure that will appear on the June ballot that
protects our members from eminent domain abuse."
"California's economy and jobs are dependent on the success of small
business owners," said National Federation of Independent Business
California executive director John Kabateck. "California laws need to be
changed to prohibit the kind of eminent domain abuse that allows government
to profit by seizing homes and small businesses and giving it to
politically connected developers."
"Eminent domain abuse is putting California family farms and ranches at
risk," said Linden farmer Kenny Watkins, second vice president of the
California Farm Bureau Federation. "We need this measure to protect against
sprawl and assure that farmland stays in private ownership, so it can
continue to provide the food and farm products that Californians need."
"Simply stated, our ballot measure protects all California property
owners," said Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association president Jon Coupal.
"Never again will government use eminent domain to destroy a person's home
Since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Kelo v. New London case two
years ago, California is not among the more than 40 states that have
reformed their eminent domain laws. Today, public agencies continue to
seize private property from unwilling sellers for private projects that
benefit wealthy and politically connected developers.
According to independent analysis of the CPOFPA by the Institute for
Justice, a non-profit organization that litigated the Kelo case,
"California is one of the biggest abusers of eminent domain in the
country." They added, "While CPOFPA would stop governments and
redevelopment agencies from taking property for private uses, traditional
uses of eminent domain for public use will not be affected."
The ballot measure does the following:
-- Prohibits government from using eminent domain for private purposes,
while allowing eminent domain to be used for legitimate public uses
like building roads, schools, other government buildings and water
-- Provides procedural reforms and full compensation when property is
seized for public purposes, including lifting the current $10,000 cap
on reimbursable expenses associated with legal and other expenses for
those property owners displaced by eminent domain.
-- To protect the State's food supply and open space, prohibits public
agencies from seizing family farms, ranches and other property in
order to acquire water rights or acquire farmland land to further
enable urban sprawl.
-- Prohibits government from setting the price at which property owners
sell or lease their property, but does not affect tenants currently
living in rent-regulated communities.
The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act is sponsored
by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (http://www.hjta.org), the
California Farm Bureau Federation (http://www.cfbf.com)and the California
Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights
(http://www.calpropertyrights.com). The ballot measure has been endorsed by
NFIB, the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce and
a diverse coalition of taxpayer, faith-based groups and good government
organizations. For more information regarding the CPOFPA measure, visit
SOURCE Californians for Property Rights Protection