A bill that would give the California Coastal Commission the power to levy fines is headed for a vote in the State Senate. Under current law, the commission is only allowed to sue people or businesses suspected of damaging or limiting access to the state’s coast line.
Assembly member Toni Atkins says her bill would grant the Coastal Commission the same enforcement power every other state regulatory agency already has.
“Other agencies that are tasked with enforcing regulations have the ability to do this and at much higher rates of fines,” says Atkins.
But Margo Parks with the California Cattlemen’s Association says current law allows the Coastal Commission to work through the Attorney General’s Office to bring suit against violators.
“I think that this bill is more of a hammer to deal with an issue where perhaps we need something a little bit more finite,” says Parks.
The bill has passed the Assembly. It’s expected to be heard in the Senate in the next few days.