The battle continues over redevelopment in California. Yesterday, the Attorney General filed an "Informal Opposition to Petition for Writ of Mandate." The document is 20 pages long, with a 4-page list of Legal Authorities, so it really isn't very "informal"; still, that's what she called it.
Not surprisingly, Attorney General Kamala Harris takes the positions that:
- AB1X 26 and AB1X 27 are constitutional, and
- The CRA has not justified a stay in their enforcement.
The Attorney General does not challenge the CRA's decision to file its lawsuit directly in the California Supreme Court. To the contrary, the Attorney General "requests that [the] Court exercise its original jurisdiction," that it "set [the] matter for expedited briefing," and that it thereafter "[deny] the petition . . . on the merits."
The Opposition starts with an Introduction that chronicles the State's financial woes and bemoans the fact that as "California struggled with massive budget deficits," redevelopment agencies saw their coffers grow. It goes on to explain that since redevelopment agencies are "creatures of statute," the Legislature has the power to dissolve them (i.e., that AB1X 26 is constitutional). Finally, it explains that AB1X 27 does not violate Proposition 22 because the proposition precludes only "forced shifts and transfers from RDAs" - as opposed to the "voluntary" transfers AB1X 27 offers.
The CRA's responses to these arguments are not hard to divine; what remains to be seen is how the Supreme Court views the issues.
One thing does seem likely in light of this "Informal Opposition." Given that the Attorney General agrees with the CRA that the matter is sufficiently urgent to warrant the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, I suspect that the Court will take the parties up on the invitation, and that it will engage on this issue. The outcome is a bit murkier.
Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues. His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes. His public ...
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