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California Supreme Court to hear challenge to redevelopment move

The California Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging state action that could lead to many local redevelopment agencies being shut down.

The court issued an order delaying  enforcement of most provisions of the new law until a ruling on the merits of the case, but said redevelopment agencies could not incur new debt, transfer assets, buy property or enter into new contracts in the meantime.

The lawsuit  by redevelopment agencies and cities claims the state violated a voter-approved ballot measure when it acted to dissolve agencies unless they pay $1.7 billion to cover state financial obligations.

The court ordered the state to provide its argument why the change in redevelopment law should stand, and approved an expedited hearing schedule that could result in a decision by Jan. 15.

"We’re very gratified that the California Supreme Court has agreed to take our case, issued the stay we requested to preserve the status quo, and that it is moving forward on an expedited basis," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities.

-- Patrick McGreevy

 
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