Lawyers to argue redevelopment fund shift
October 2, 2011
A court battle to argue the future of the state’s redevelopment agencies looms in the aftermath of a lawsuit filed this week by a coalition of 10 Southern California cities.
The complaint filed in Sacramento seeks to prevent the legislature from diverting funds earmarked for redevelopment to schools and local government. Its objective is similar to a fast-track case presently before the state supreme court brought by the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Association.
This latter case has resulted in a temporary halt to lawmakers’ budget manipulations involving redevelopment funds. The plan was to take $1.7 billion from the agencies for redistribution, but representatives of the agencies call the move unconstitutional. If enacted, those budget cuts would virtually eliminate the state’s 400 redevelopment agencies.
The organizations contend that the cuts violate Prop. 22, passed in November by voters, which prohibits the state from raiding transportation, redevelopment or local government money.
Last fall, most city officials in this county made clear their intent to oppose the fund shift, and the area’s state senator, Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, voted against it during budget debates.
“As our state struggles to recover from the recession, wholesale elimination of these agencies is the wrong path to pursue,” Blakeslee said at the time.