SACRAMENTO, California: On December 30, the California Supreme Court put the final nail in the coffin of local California redevelopment agencies when it ruled that Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature did have the right to enact Assembly Bill 1X 26 in 2011. AB 1X 26 eliminates the state's approximately 400 local redevelopment agencies.
Cities throughout the state, along with the League of California Cities, futilely hoped that Proposition 22, enacted in 2010, would protect the redevelopment agencies. They filed their unsuccessful lawsuit against AB 1X 26 on July 18, 2011. Plaintiffs included the California Redevelopment Association and the cities of San Jose and Union City.
Brown applauded the court's ruling, saying, "Today's ruling by the California Supreme Court validates a key component of the state budget and guarantees more than a billion dollars of ongoing funding for schools and public safety." Abolishing the redevelopment agencies is expected to save the state at least $1 billion a year.
Some city officials decried the ruling. John Shirey, the city manager of Sacramento, said, "It means the same for us as it means for every city and county in the state, which is the redevelopment agency's out of business. Along with it are various affordable housing projects and projects to continue the revitalization of downtown that are now gone."
Darrell Steinberg, Senate President Pro Tem, said that the League of California Cities may be suffering a case of 'Be careful what you ask for because you might get it': "I think it's important to recognize but for Proposition 22, the League (of California Cities)-inspired initiative, we would have a lot of flexibility to amend redevelopment in a way to keep it alive and help fund schools. I hate to say it, but it's an example of all-or-nothing politics that leads to nothing."