Budget Fight for California Redevelopment on Fast Track

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The California Redevelopment Association can move forward with its lawsuit against the state over the decision to shelve city redevelopment agencies, the California Supreme Court ruled.
     The court ordered redevelopment projects to be put on hold until it can hear the case, which it hopes to decide by mid-January. It also set an expedited briefing schedule so it may hear oral arguments “as early as possible in 2011.”
     The CRA joined the city of San Jose, city of Union City and the League of California Cities in filing a petition last month to prevent the state from enacting legislation as part of the 2011-12 state budget that would dissolve redevelopment agencies and redirect their funds for education.
     One of the bills, ABIX27, requires the agencies to pay the state $1.7 billion in two payments due on Jan. 15 and May 15 next year. ABIX26 eliminates the agencies altogether if they fail to pay.
     “Dissolving the RDAs unilaterally and suddenly will stop many important, half-completed redevelopment projects dead in their tracks and expose cities and counties to legal liability for the obligations of their now dissolved RDAs,” the agencies argued in their 126-page petition. “ABIX27 and 26 achieve an unconstitutional result by unconstitutional means.”
     State officials must respond to the court’s ruling by Sept. 9, 2011.

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