For all the appeal that “streamlining” would seem to offer, Gov. Jerry Brown's housing proposal has drawn stiff criticism – including some from traditional proponents of affordable housing. >>read more
Over the past year, even the most irate objectors to Gov. Jerry Brown's dismantling of redevelopment held out hope that in agreeing to kill redevelopment, the legislature would invent a new, better system for stoking local economic growth. Last week, the governor dashed those hopes.
Attorney General Kamala Harris took the unusual measure of pre-emptively voicing her official opposition to the lawsuit that was filed two weeks ago to overturn the budget bills that force redevelopment agencies to either disband or pay a total of $1.7 billion in "remittances" to the state. The suit was filed by the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities in the state Supreme Court; the petition calls on the court to declare the actions unconstitutional in light of Prop. 22.
In 2009 the redevelopment agencies of California, represented by the California Redevelopment Association, filed suit to block the state's requisitioning of over $1 billion of tax increment financing. That suit failed.
Update: Late this morning, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the budget package that the Legislature sent him yesterday. Brown said that the budget was imbalanced and that the legislation "contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings." Brown reportedly wants to hold out and force a popular vote on tax extensions that he considers critical to overcoming the state's remaining multi-billion dollar deficit. He did not mention redevelopment in his veto statement.
While the Legislature remains deadlocked on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, it seems that what does not kill redevelopment may in fact make it stronger. Many observers had written the obituary for the state's redevelopment system back in March when Brown was insisting that the state had to recoup redevelopment's tax increment in order to help plug its $24 billion deficit.
Since January we have witnessed the unusual spectacle of elected local officials throughout the state expressing intense and emotional anger and frustration about the possible end to redevelopment -- and no reaction at all from anybody else.
Nothing from the people in blighted neighborhoods, who supposedly benefit from better housing and more jobs and more retail choices.
If Gov. Jerry Brown gets his way in the Legislature in the coming days, he and the state will face a conundrum to make a Zen master's head spin: Is it illegal to transfer funds from agencies that no longer exist?
The governor has thus far been unyielding in his effort to eliminate the state's redevelopment agencies. In doing so he hopes to recoup up to $1.7 billion to help offset the state's estimated $26 billion deficit. Negotiations are ongoing at the Capitol, with a handful of Republican legislators--the so-called "GOP 5"—still in discussions with the Democratic governor. A vote is expected any day now.