Welcome to 2020! It is a new year and with every new year, comes a lot of new: new goals, new diet, new workout routines that leave every part of you sore... In the professional setting, a new year brings a lot of “chores,” like closing out the financials for the previous year, perhaps completing year-end reviews, and on and on, and you are left asking, “We do this every year…??” One of those chores is almost sure to be budgeting, which is universally considered to be unpleasant. Well, imagine having to kick off the year by preparing a budget for the entire state of California, the 5th largest economy in the world.
Luckily, that chore was left to Governor Newsom and last week, he released his 2020 budget proposal. The proposed $222 billion dollar state budget ...
We wanted to provide some timely articles for those of you in the eminent domain and valuation arena.
First, Brad Kuhn, the Chair of Nossaman’s Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group, was recently featured on the cover of the July/August 2018 issue of Right Of Way magazine—a publication of the International Right of Way Association. Brad participated in an Industry Roundtable in the issue on leveraging the right of way professional in today’s fast-paced design-build world. The Roundtable examined the critical right of way component in infrastructure projects and how ...
Yesterday, we reported briefly on the Supreme Court’s decision in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos. As many of you undoubtedly know by now, the outcome was the nightmare redevelopment agencies feared most, but that many (including us) had forecast after listening to oral argument last month.
The Court upheld ABX1 26, allowing the dissolution of California’s redevelopment agencies to proceed, but struck down ABX1 27, the voluntary buy back program that would have allowed redevelopment to continue. In particular:
- The Court had little difficulty upholding ABX1 ...
Today, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos, the case challenging ABX1 26 and ABX1 27. In a decision foreshadowed by the tone of last month's oral argument, the Court upheld ABX1 26, but struck down ABX1 27 as a violation of California's Proposition 22:
- "Assembly Bill 1X 26, the dissolution measure, is a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state Constitution."
- "A different conclusion is required with respect to Assembly Bill 1X 27, the measure conditioning further ...
The debate over the extensions of some of the Bush-era tax cuts have been making national news for some time. It's splattered all over the newspaper and has its own running commentary on the political talk shows.
But today, there's a different twist for those of us who deal with eminent domain. Congress is debating the extension of the payroll taxes yet again, but this time, a major eminent domain issue is wrapped up in the fray.
Specifically, Republicans in Congress had said they planned to couple the extension of the tax cuts with a requirement to fast-track approval of a ...
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos, the action filed by the California Redevelopment Association, League of California Cities and others challenging the constitutionality of ABX1 26 and ABX1 27. Based upon their questions it appeared that the Justices were satisfied that ABX1 26, the bill abolishing redevelopment agencies, passes constitutional muster. However, ABX1 27, the bill allowing for their reinstatement by the making of voluntary payments, seemed to be on much shakier grounds. The ...
Last Friday I spoke at the CLE Eminent Domain Conference in San Francisco. The topic of my talk was "The Death And Possible Rebirth of Redevelopment in California." I spoke on the current state of limbo in which redevelopment agencies find themselves as a result of the passage of ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 and the ensuing lawsuit challenging their constitutionality. While I mentioned that the California Supreme Court would be hearing arguments on November 10th, I neglected to mention how to access the webcast of the proceedings. For those interested in watching the arguments, direct ...
As probably everyone following this blog already knows, redevelopment is under attack in California. While some might assume the attack flows from continued outrage over the Supreme Court's Kelo decision, the reality is actually quite different. Here in California, the driving force is not moral outrage, but budgetary crisis.
As I learned earlier this week at the IRWA Chapter 67 lunch meeting, Governor Brown's plan to eliminate redevelopment is not part of some long-planned effort. According to a presentation by one of my partners, Gale Connor, when now Governor Brown was Mayor ...
The California redevelopment circus continues today, as California's Secretary of State approved two potential referendums for the 2012 ballot. One involves rural homeowners and payments for fire services; for our purposes, it's not very exciting (and since I'm pretty sure I don't live in a rural area, I'm not going to join that fray).
But the other one is more interesting. It's a proposal promoted by eminent domain opponent Marko Mlikotin to overturn AB X1 27. For those who have trouble keeping score with all the bill numbers, this is the one that allows California's redevelopment ...
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 ...
As we have previously reported (Fate of Redevelopment Remains in Limbo), the bills to eliminate redevelopment agencies have languished due to Republican opposition. With so many redevelopment agencies scrambling to use or secure redevelopment funds in an effort to protect them from being taken by Sacramento and with shortfalls in property tax revenues due to declining property values, redevelopment agencies are no longer as tempting a target for bridging the State’s budgetary shortfall.
While redevelopment agencies may survive this budget cycle, the fight over their ...
Despite daily rumors to the contrary, neither chamber took up the issue of redevelopment last week.
Both the Senate and Assembly held brief floor sessions Friday morning without voting on either SB 77 or AB 101, the bills eliminating redevelopment. While both houses remained on-call over weekend and today, the next floor sessions are not scheduled until Tuesday, March 29.
Meanwhile, there have been intensive lobbying efforts in support of the CRA and League of California Cities Alternative solution. Essentially, they are proposing that redevelopment agencies voluntarily ...
Another day has passed with no apparent movement on the two remaining elements of the Governor’s budget. Rumors are circulating that plans are afoot for bypassing Republican legislators by placing a tax measure on the November ballot.
Officially, the Governor’s office remains focused on the original plan. In fact, the Governor’s spokesman, Gil Duran, was quoted as saying that it was a lie that the Governor has decided on a November election. However, other anonymous sources say that while Brown is continuing to negotiate with Republicans to put the tax extension on a June ...
Both the Senate and Assembly have adjourned for the weekend, but what a week it has been in the battle over the future of redevelopment.
The bill to kill redevelopment, SB 77, came up for multiple votes in the Assembly on Wednesday. The bill initially garnered only 50 of the 54 votes needed for the two-thirds majority. The Governor, working out of the Speakers office just off of the Assembly floor, personally lobbied and cajoled legislatures throughout the day. Eventually, he won over two wavering Democrats and one Republican, Chris Norby of Orange County. By the time of the bill’s final ...
The Assembly has been in session since 11:00, and as best I can tell (I haven't been able to watch the feed the entire day), it has not yet taken up SB 77 or redevelopment again today. My understanding is that further discussion is planned before the session ends, and that SB 77 was - at least at the beginning of the session - "item #7" on the agenda.
In the meantime, the 11:00 session started a bit late this morning, and both houses almost immediately convened in caucuses. Later, they moved forward with a few of the budget bills, taking them up and (apparently) approving them based on a ...
As the evening has worn on in the Assembly, SB 77 has been called to a vote several more times. What started as 50 yes votes (four short of passage) has now become 53 "yes" votes - now a single vote away.
Just before 7:00, the vote was 53-23, with 3 still abstaining. Another vote was called at about 7:10, but the tally remained 53-23. The plan at that time was to adjourn at 8:30 barring some change, but discussions continued until well past 9:00.
At about 9:20 p.m., the vote was called one more time. It remained 53-23, one vote short. At that point, the Assembly adjourned; it is scheduled to ...
SB 77 - the budget trailer bill to eliminate redevelopment agencies in California - has been debated on the Assembly floor much of the afternoon. When it finally came time to vote at a little after 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, it was still unclear whether Governor Brown would receive the two-thirds vote necessary.
As the votes came in, it became obvious that (1) the votes, as expected, would fall largely on party lines, with Democrats approving the bill and Republicans rejecting it, and (2) that the final result was going to be very close, one way or the other.
Ultimately, the vote came in ...
It looks like Governor Brown's proposal to end redevelopment as part of his overhaul of California's budget may come to a vote on both the Assembly and Senate floors today. AB 101 and SB 77 are scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. vote, and both include within them the plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies. They require a 2/3 vote for passage.
In the meantime, the California Redevelopment Association is promoting an alternative proposal that it hopes will be presented on the floor. They claim that the CRA proposal will:
- Provide significant funding to schools which could also help close the ...
We've blogged a lot in the past two months about redevelopment issues and the Governor's plan to help right California's budget by, among other things, eliminating redevelopment agencies. But most of what we've written has viewed redevelopment from the 30,000 foot level.
For policy-making decisions, viewing the big picture is hugely important. But a case making news this week out of National City reminds us that the redevelopment fight is also quite personal.
The Community Youth Athletic Center has been fighting what it perceives as an attack on its very existence for nearly four ...
Just when it looked liked we had reached the eleventh hour in the California's redevelopment battle, redevelopment agencies appear to be getting at least a temporary stay of execution. Governor Brown had declared a March 10 deadline for a vote on his proposal to overhaul California's budget, including "disestablishing" redevelopment agencies.
But on Monday, those efforts stalled. In an open letter to the Governor, five key Republican senators announced:
Although it is clear that you [the Governor] engaged in our conversation seriously, it appears we have reached an impasse.
One recent article by our Infrastructure Group, "New Surface Transportation Legislation Likely to Encounter Many Roadblocks in the Coming Months," seems particularly useful. The article indicates that the Obama Administration has the passage of a multi-year surface transportation bill high on its legislative agenda, and its new budget proposal pushes for a $556 billion surface reauthorization bill. John Mica, the Republican Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, however, has warned transportation stakeholders that a Republican bill this ...
Around California, agencies are scrambling to use or secure redevelopment funds in an effort to protect against anticipated legislation to abolish redevelopment agencies in California. We've been following the story for weeks, but things are really heating up now.
As just a few examples from the past couple of days:
- A City of Perris councilman, Mark Yarbrough, is asking the city staff to deplete existing redevelopment funds before the state can seize them.
- Tuesday night, the San Mateo City Council voted to use $34.2 million in redevelopment funds for local projects "effectively ...
In a report issued in advance of today’s Senate Subcommittee hearing on the issue, the Legislative Analyst's Office reiterated its support for the Governor’s call for an end to redevelopment in California. While acknowledging that redevelopment does lead to economic development within redevelopment project areas, the report asserts that there is no reliable evidence that it attracts business to the state or increases overall regional economic development.
This may all be well and good, but analyzing the issues this way creates a subtle - but important -shift in the ...
In the wake of the Governor’s proposal to abolish all redevelopment agencies, State Controller John Chiang announced that his auditors would be reviewing 18 redevelopment agencies. As he stated in his press release,
The heated debate over whether the RDAs are the engines of local economic job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on antidotal evidence.
These reviews, designed to assist lawmakers in their budge debates will therefore focus on how the targeted RDAs define a blighted area ...
Earlier this month, we reported on the Governor's budget proposal, which includes the bold plan to "disestablish" (my new favorite word) redevelopment agencies as part of his plan to shore up California's budget. We then told you about how the budget proposal interacts with Proposition 22, passed last November.
Not surprisingly, the story is far from over. A January 21 article in the Los Angeles Times by Patrick McGreevy, "Cities may sue governor over his redevelopment proposal," reports that earlier today, more than 100 mayors and city council members came together to condemn ...
The large pool of tax increment revenue flowing to the state’s 400-plus redevelopment agencies has long made a tempting target for a cash strapped State. Time and again Sacramento has dipped into this pool to offset budget deficits. Local interests have fought back, both at the ballot box (e.g., 2004's successful Proposition 1A "Protection of Local Government Revenue"), and in the courts. Sometimes local interests gained the upper hand and sometimes the advantage went to the State.
Proposition 22, approved by the voters in November, was intended by its backers to be the ultimate ...
It should come as no surprise that the budget proposal issued by Governor Brown today contains some painful cuts. California remains in the midst of one of the worst economic cycles in history, and its budget shortfall has reached historic proportions. According to the Governor, as he takes office, California's budget shortfall totals $25 billion - yes, that's Billion, with a "B."
For me, I am particularly disturbed by proposed cuts to education; the UC system, which provided me with both my undergraduate and law degrees, may face numerous cuts, including a general ...
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