Thursday, August 31, 2006

California Bills Target Huge Stores

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Bills that would give California's local governments more power to fight Wal-Mart and other huge stores are heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, over the objections of the giant retailer, business groups and Republican lawmakers.

The latest bill, approved 23-16 Wednesday by the Senate, would require local governments to consider an economic impact report before approving any "big box" store larger than 100,000 square feet.

On Tuesday, a 24-13 vote sent Schwarzenegger a bill requiring retailers to pay communities' legal fees if the local governments prevail in lawsuits that challenge zoning ordinances or regulations aimed at restricting mega-stores.

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said the governor has taken no position on the bills.

"Clearly, Wal-Mart in particular has been using its money and influence to try to influence local government decisions," said the bills' author, Sen. Richard Alarcon.

More on these later but suffice it to say this is no good for California!

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