Legislature May Give Tribes a Veto Over Local Government

There's an uproar this week among local governments over legislation -- thrown together without hearings or review -- that would give Indian tribes an effective veto over various local land use decisions.

The bill stems from a fight in Riverside County over the building of a quarry.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians claims that the quarry -- while not on tribal land -- would impact a sacred site.

The bill would require tribal sign-off on reclamation projects and other changes in the area, even outside tribal land.

Pechanga and other tribes are big donors to politicians, so it's no surprise that legislators have quickly put together legislation.

But lawmakers should reconsider, not only for reasons of economy -- the quarry would produce jobs and materials necessary for construction -- but also for their own credibility.

Sacramento has been full of talk this year about the need to focus on the economy and on greater local control for governments.

When state lawmakers then put together legislation to serve a special interest at the expense of the economy and local control, you have to wonder if they mean what they say.

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