Yesterday, after heated floor debates, both the Senate and Assembly passed the two-bill package to end redevelopment as we know if. In the Senate, the two bills each eked out the requisite 21 votes, with the final tally being 21-15. In the assembly the bills passed with the more comfortable margins of 51-23 for AB 26x and 47-28 for AB 27x.
Interestingly, these bills did not pass on party line votes, with some Democrats voting no and some Republicans urging a yes vote. A heated confrontation occurred when Assemblymen Don Wagner, R-Irvine compared provisions which compel redevelopment agencies to give money to local governments to offset State obligations, or face elimination, as being comparable to a Sopranos shakedown scheme. This prompted Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, to demand an apology for the Sopranos reference. If nothing else, the scuffle that followed ensured that nobody fell asleep during the debate,
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders issued a statement after the bills passed, echoing Assemblyman Wagner's sentiments, calling the bills an "extortion attempt." He went on to explain that instead of acting on proposals advanced by a number of mayors to reform redevelopment " the Legislature put a gun to our head, threatening to kill redevelopment agencies if they don't hand over local tax dollars to the state instead of using them for streets, parks, housing and other local needs."
If the Governor signs these two bills, the CRA and the League of California Cities may challenge the constitutionality of these measures. Barring a successful legal challenge, if the Governor signs these bills, the big question is whether redevelopment can survive.
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