Opinion: The lowdown on the California land-into-trust measure

"SB 162 Bill languished in the Legislature in a process called “place holding.” It popped up in the current session and was approved by the Senate and was sent to the Assembly. (After all, it was a harmless and innocuous procedural bill). Then on April 30, 2012, this bill was amended in the Assembly in a process euphemistically called “gut and amend,” much like the unscrupulous practice of inserting unrelated earmarks into appropriation bills to sneak them past careless or uncaring legislators. The “gut and amend” of SB 162 changed the bill from the original proposed amendment to the Business and Professions Code to one now amending section 11019.9 of the California Government Code. This new amendment began by claiming to be a bill to aid economic development of Indian tribes in California.

Reading further, it became clear it was an attempt to prohibit important state agency review and ability to oppose transfers of fee-owned Indian lands into federal Indian trust, which would remove all that land from responsibility for the state and local taxes needed by state and local governments to pay for all the public services and infrastructure these tribes and their businesses use daily, at the non-Indian public’s expense. In addition, Indian trust status eliminates all state and local zoning and developmental controls needed to protect the character and quality of life in every community.

SB 162, by its terms, prohibits state agencies from opposing these fee-to-trust transfers if the tribe seeking transfer simply claims the transfer is for “housing,” “cultural” or “environmental protection purposes.” "

Get the Story:
James Marino: The lowdown on SB 162 (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 6/21)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court decision kills California land-into-trust measure (6/19)
Land-into-trust bill in California due for consideration next week (06/14)
Opinion: Bill silences California for land-into-trust applications (6/11)
Editorial: Put California land-into-trust bill back into the grinder (6/7)
California bill bars state opposition to certain land-into-trust bids (6/1)

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