seamusTX wrote:Proposition 9 effectively made the Texas Open Beaches Act part of the Constitution, so a future legislature cannot change it by a simple majority.
The TOBA has been law for 40 years and survived challenges in the Texas Supreme Court.
It is based on Spanish-Mexican common law, which made access to beaches a right.
People who own beachfront property can still own the beach (and pay taxes on it), but they cannot build a structure or limit public access to it.
I have mixed feelings about it myself, but if the majority of Texans accepted it for 25 years before I moved here, I can't complain.
I'm not complaining. I just have an opinion about it because I've already seen how toxic that can become. Perhaps the fact that it is now part of the state's constitution will keep abuses of it from occuring. But like you, TOBA doesn't affect me personally. However, the California Coastal Commission does affect me personally, and I am most definitely complaining about that. That house and land represents the principal value of my mother's estate, and thus whatever insane rulings the CCC wants to inflict on that estate when my mother dies will affect me personally in a very measurable financial way. The CCC has assumed powers that were not within the original scope of its charter and which are extra-constitutional within the scope of the state's constitution. But the California state government, being run by a bunch of commie liberal spendthrifts as it is, is spiritually in lockstep with what the CCC does, so it will never be reformed.
Since TOBA passed 37 years before I moved here, I have no say in it, although I'm certainly entitled to my opinion about it. But as a current resident, I did have a say in Proposition 9, and I voted against it. My view is that if the state has a compelling interest in making sure that the public has access to beaches, then let the state designate already state-owned coastal land as public beach, or buy coastal land for that purpose. That then represents the public's right of access, and the state discharges its duty to service that compelling interest. In California, prior to the creation of the CCC, that is exactly what happened. It was a case of the state saying, "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours." But come the CCC (and in Texas, the TOBA), the state now says, "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine too."
That ain't right, no matter how you cut it.
But again, that's just my opinion.
I'm curious about what the rest of you thought about Proposition 4, the "national research university fund" amendment.