As the behemoth redevelopment dissolution bill, ABx1-26, lurched toward final passage last June, legislator after legislator reassured local governments that the bill’s rough edges would be planed in no time with clean-up legislation.
Almost a year later, municipalities are still waiting.
- The leading bill, AB 1585 (Perez) – which would preserve affordable housing funds and allow more flexibility to successor agencies to retain assets — was passed by the Assembly but remains stalled in the Senate, having yet to have had a single hearing.
- SB 1335 (Pavley), which would authorize successor agencies to expend funds to clean up brownfields properties to maximize value or address health concerns (hardly controversial propositions) has been held up in Senate Appropriations.
- SB 986 (Dutton), which would allow previously issued redevelopment bond proceeds to be used to fund infrastructure and other projects, has been loaded up with so many unfriendly amendments that its own sponsor voted against it. It died on the floor, garnering only 8 votes.
- SB 1151 and 1156 (Steinberg), which would (apparently) allow redevelopment assets to be placed in trust and spent under an asset management plan administered by a joint powers authority or oversight board, appear to be generating too much confusion to be going anywhere.
The process of dissolving California’s 400-plus redevelopment agencies has been fraught with disorder and controversy. The pendency of litigation challenging ambiguous, inconsistent and (allegedly) unconstitutional provisions of ABX1-26 has engendered further confusion and delay. The Department of Finance has adopted aggressive interpretations of the statute in the scramble to find money to meet the state’s short-term budget goals. It’s a mess that’s getting messier daily. The legislature needs to get cracking on the promised clean-up legislation.