REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES GET THE SHORT END OF THE STICK IN BOTH HOUSES; BUDGET READY FOR THE GOVERNOR
By Steven Tavares
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Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett said Wednesday afternoon after the California State Senate passed a flurry of bills to duck a constitutional deadline for passage a fiscal budget, "We will make history, but our job is not done."
Senate Majority Leader
Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro)
"I want to thank Republicans who have struggled with this," she said, but lamented opposition from the entire caucus, "I'm very sad this did not come to pass." Corbett, though, attempted a final time to attract bipartisan support. "Consider the consequences happening today," she said. "It's not too late to look at a different way."
"We all know that deadline was coming," added Corbett. "We have no other options without revenues. We have to make cuts."
The Senate approved nine bills Wednesday to wrap up their work on the fiscal budget for 2012. Included is $1.7 billion from redevelopment to facilitate a balanced budget, although a first round of votes fell short of passage. The senate returned to approved the two bills, 21-16. The assembly followed through later in the day approving 20 bills almost entirely along party lines, including the so-called "Amazon Tax" bill tacking on sales tax to online purchases.
News of radically changing the way local cities move towards redeveloping blight and underused areas and the fate of already shovel-ready projects is likely to become a firestorm of criticism among local leaders state-wide.
In the East Bay, cities like Hayward and Fremont have led the way in taking a highly vocal stand in favor of the perception the Legislature is attempting to strip its local authority. Fremont, for one, was one of the first municipalities to formulate possible end-arounds of Gov. Jerry Brown's initial proposal to end redevelopment agencies as they operate today.