House Bill 1789
Anti Rail Trail Bill Additions House Bill 1789 In Louisiana Legislature.
I have received a package of info that indicates that Represenative Quezaire is adding lanuage to Louisiana Rail Trail Law that will make railbanking pretty much impossible. It is not known if this is being done by NARPO or not. Those of you in Mississippi should be aware of these things since NARPO and like minded groups are aggresively attacking railbanking.
Among other things it will severely restrict both government and non-government groups from moving ahead with railbanking without proving they have up front money for the project. I don’t believe the same thing is required for any other road projects in Louisiana such as Zachary Taylor Parkway.
Another provision gives the local government the right to reserve the railbed for local transportation projects: no mention if they must have financing or not. This would allow a local government to “reserve” the railbed in their jurisdiction until rail trail people lose interest and then let the property lapse to adjacent landowners.
It makes interesting reading. I sure would like to find out if one of the provisions allows landowners to sue railbanking agencies and under what conditions.
If anyone would like a copy of this bill please e-mail me and I will send you a copy (its 20 double-spaced pages!). When I find the web link I will pass it on to you. Link: http://www2.legis.state.la.us/script/avail_docs.asp?insttype=HB&billid=1789
I have also heard that people who support such bills are alleged to have threaten violence: I have not heard of any acts of violence. Some individuals are alledged to be wealthy. If you seek to document activities, be careful and have credentials.
May have passed La. House on way to Senate.
The bill may have passed the House according to one note I received today. It would be a good idea to call your state Senator to oppose bill. The URL for the bill is http://www2.legis.state.la.us:88/CVT4/OUT/0000EPCR.pdf
The bills roots are apparently with the farm interests. There may be debate over whether Rep. Quezaire knew what the bill was about. In short, it is touted as being a pro-railbanking bill when it is just the opposite.
When debating this thing with others remember that NARPO couches this as property owned by adjacent landowners. This may or may not be true. Some of the issues NARPO raises does need to be addressed, but remember that frequently the railroads were welcomed to build their railbeds where they did by _then_ landowners. It is quite probable that may of landowners of that time are either deceased or have moved on.
Again, remember to be careful. Also, do not alienate people who would support these trails and remember they are state’s newest an most innovative
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