David McNew/Getty Images
Would giving the Coastal Commission the power to impose and collect fines without court approval help it to protect the state's coastlines?
That's the question the state legislature will wrestle with this week. The bill, sponsored by San Diego democrat Toni Atkins, would allow the Commission to impose and collect fines without court approval, which is currently required. The Commission argues that the added step hamstrings the agency's efforts to protect the state's coastlines. According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 20 state agencies have the power to levy fines.
Businesses that oppose the bill feel that the Commission already has enough regulatory power as is, and doing away with court oversight would leave coastal property owners and businesses faced with hefty penalties with little legal recourse.
Sara Wan, Former Commissioner of the California Coastal Commission
Margo Parks, director of government relations for the California Cattlemen’s Association and she represents a coalition of businesses that opposes the bill