I presented an update on eminent domain/redevelopment issues making their way through the legislature at this week's IRWA Chapter 67 (Orange County) monthly meeting, and I've received a few follow-up requests for more information. So I decided it was probably worthwhile to put all the information here on the Nossaman blog.
- Status of California Redevelopment Agencies: It's now been several weeks since the attempted Assembly votes, where Governor Brown's attempt to eliminate redevelopment agencies fell one vote short. The Governor needs the $2.2 billion in redevelopment funds this year to bridge the budget deficit. It sounds like there is some intense back-channel lobbying taking place with the Redevelopment Association proposing a voluntary suspension of their funding or at least agreeing to contribute a portion of their revenue stream to local school districts. I spoke with a few connected people this week and word is that Governor Brown's elimination plan -- at least as proposed -- is not likely to pass (aside from the Assembly, the proposal would also need to pass the Senate, which does not seem likely). We'll just have to wait and see what ultimately comes of this.
- Federal eminent domain legislation: The House is currently considering H.R. 1433, dubbed the "Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2011," which is a bill that would prevent states and municipalities from using eminent domain for economic development purposes (such as redevelopment) on any project for which the agencies are receiving federal funding. H.R. 1433 also prohibits the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development (including increasing tax revenue or creating jobs for general economic growth).
- Use of Redevelopment Funds for Sports Teams: Assemblyman Chris Norby (Fullerton) has introduced AB 1234, which would prohibit redevelopment agencies from using tax revenue or bond proceeds to develop, recruit, or retain any professional sports teams. This legislation, if passed, could potentially kill a new stadium for the Oakland A's or the San Diego Chargers, which are both being contemplated through the use of redevelopment funds. (In case you missed it, read a more detailed article here.)
- Inverse Condemnation Liability: AB 328 is also working its way through the State Assembly; it is a bill that would require a reduction in compensation payable to a successful plaintiff in an inverse condemnation action in direct proportion to the owner's percentage of fault in causing damages to the owner's property. This would change current law whereby a public entity is liable for 100% of the damages where its project causes physical damage to private property, regardless of whether others contributed to those damages.
- Renewable Energy Mandates: This week, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 2X, which requires private and public utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020, raising the target from the current 20%, while providing the flexibility necessary to meet the higher standard.
We'll follow-up on these legislative issues as soon as we catch wind of anything newsworthy.