Monday, March 7, 2011
House bill 208 is just the beginning. And in possibly setting a precedent, this bill might just be the most dangerous to free enterprise in this session. There seems to be a land rush for all special interest groups to have each their own local “Authority” established to have access to public assets. By this calculation there would soon so many commissions and commissioners in local government all vying for local assets the result would be a total traffic jam or constipation – take your choice. Of course, the drafters of H208 foresaw this criticism and addressed the proliferation issue in Section 70-2304, which grants the counties the power to form a “combined intermodal and renewable energy authority.”
What this evolution really means is that, to avoid the proliferation of “Authorities,” the counties can in effect establish combined super authorities. With further such bills from various interest groups, “combined” county “Authority” will be granted more and more power to serve the interests of all special interest groups that want access to public assets. This super or monster authority (“Frankenauthority”) is different than an Urban Renewal Agency in that it does not need to make a finding of “blight” in order to proceed. In other words, in order to proceed there is no “excuse” or “finding” required that private enterprise cannot do it.
This authority approach is simply the granting of authority to government to direct economic development and to utilize public assets for chosen private favorites. This reminds me of the old railroad days, when private interests made no pretense of getting all the government help they could. Lobbying replaced innovation as the true path to economic success.
Note: This bill was hastily drafted. It is a take off of the port authority law and the local intermodal authority - in fact in Section 70-2307 (6) the drafters left in the text reference to the “port authority.”
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 12:42 PM