Imagine a scene reminiscent of an old Warner Bros. black and white movie. A death row inmate (in this case, redevelopment agencies) is strapped to the electric chair anxiously eyeing the phone on the wall for a call from the governor. No call, no reprieve.
On February 1, the large switch will be thrown and redevelopment agencies will come to a shocking conclusion.
That is, unless SB-659, the legislation co-authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and Senator Ed Hernandez (D- West Covina), is quickly passed in the Assembly and Senate and then signed by Governor Jerry Brown. To expedite action on the issue Hernandez allowed Padilla to piggy-back on a bill he’d already written and is already moving through the Legislature.
“It has become imperative for the Legislature to act quickly to create a new mechanism for funding local economic development and affordable housing. That is why I have agreed to co-author a bill with Senator Padilla that will delay the phase out of redevelopment agencies a little bit longer, so we have the time to work with the Governor, our cities, and other stakeholders to craft legislation that will go the distance in providing an effective replacement for redevelopment.
SB-659 postpones dissolution of redevelopment agencies until April 15.
According to the Governor, the purpose for the two redevelopment bills AB 1X 26/27 included in the state budget was to take money from redevelopment agencies and transfer those tax dollars to support schools.
For Padilla, the upcoming deadline of February 1 is too quick to address a number of issues.
“What about those projects that were partially underway? Do they have to cease to exist? Are those construction workers going to be laid off? What about the employees of the previously existing redevelopment agencies? What happens to them?,” said Padilla.
Padilla believes there will be “lawsuits after lawsuits.”
His idea is to move the date back and take a more careful look at the repercussions. One of the biggest questions in his mind is whether or not eliminating redevelopment agencies will even accomplish the goal of funding schools.
“It’s not just assets of redevelopment agencies that may revert to the state for purposes of backfilling our funding for schools, but a lot of the liabilities that come with those obligations. And I’d hate to see a scenario where the state ends up saddled with additional unintended costs because of this action as opposed to revenues we wanted to spend for public education,” said Padilla.
Padilla is hoping with SB 659, redevelopment agencies won’t be compared to a Dead Man Walking.
For more on the City of Santa Clarita’s fight to maintain redevelopment agencies, click here.
Labor groups, public safety advocates, business groups, local government, housing advocates and community groups signed a letter to the legislature urging them to quickly pass SB 659 and another one to Governor Brown asking him to sign it.
According to a spokesperson for the League of California Cities, the groups listed below signed the letter, which was delivered Friday:
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Service Employees International Union, California
Air Conditioning Sheet Metal Association
California Chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association
California Landscape and Irrigation Council
California Legislative Conference of the Plumbing, Heating and Piping Industry
Glendale City Employees Association
Organization of Sacramento Municipal Utility District Employees
Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
San Bernardino Public Employees Association
San Luis Obispo County Employees Association
Santa Rosa City Employees Association
California Police Chiefs Association
Signal Hill Police Officers Association
California Chamber of Commerce
California Building Industry Association
California Building Owners and Managers Association
California Business Properties Association
California Business Roundtable
California Downtown Association
California Main Street Alliance
California Manufacturers and Technology Association
American Institute of Architects, California Council
Building Industry Association of Southern California
Los Angeles County Business Federation
National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, California Chapter
Valley Industry and Commerce Association
California Association for local Economic Development
International Council of Shopping Centers
American Council of Engineering Companies of California
Greater West Covina Business Association
Inland Valley Business Alliance
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce Alliance Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce
Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
Greater Stockton chamber of Commerce
Highland Area Chamber of Commerce
Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce
San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce
Alameda Chamber of Commerce
Corcoran Chamber of Commerce
Downy Chamber of Commerce
Emeryville Chamber of Commerce
Fullerton Chamber of Commerce
Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce
Lodi Chamber of Commerce
Montclair Chamber of Commerce
Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
Montebello Chamber of Commerce
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Orange Chamber of Commerce
Redlands Chamber of Commerce
Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and San Pedro Chamber of Commerce
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
Vacaville Chamber of Commerce
Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce
Hollister Downtown Association
Downtown Long Beach Associates
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Eureka Main Street Association
Fairfield Main Street Association
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Playhouse District Association
The River District
Allied Commercial Real Estate
Alliance for a United Montebello
Alma Family Services, Inc.
Deborah Murphy Urban Design and Planning
Ford Mance Company
Games 4 U
Hall & Bartley Architecture and Planning
Hampton Inn and Suites of Vacaville
Lavish by L&m Inc.
Lithopass Printing, Forms, Graphics and More, Inc.
Manteca Visitors Center
Mechling Construction Company
Mogavero Notestine Associates
The Ometeotl Group
Ontario Convention Center
Opper and Varco LLP
Pat Paris Appleby
Rosenow Spevacek Group, Inc.
RRM Design Group
Santa Fe Land Planning
Sportsplex USA Inc.
Stockton Builders’ Exchange
Todos Santos Business Association
Tolar Manufacturing Company, Inc
Vacaville Conference and Visitors Bureau
Vineyard RV Park
Wallace and Smith Contractors
People’s Self Help Housing Corporation
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara
Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County
Stanislaus County Affordable Housing Corporation
American Legion Post 772
Banning Cultural Alliance
Give Every Child A Chance
Los Angeles Walks
The League of California Cities
California Building Officials
California Redevelopment Association
Cucamonga Valley Water District
Three Valleys Municipal Water District