Having previously ordered the closure of hundreds of redevelopment programs throughout California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed six bills that would have given local governments other economic development powers, saying it is too soon to consider alternatives.
The governor and Legislature had acted earlier this year to close redevelopment agencies and have them begin to unwind their finances to increase money available for the state general fund and eliminate its shortfall.
Among the bills rejected were measures by Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Pérez’s AB 2144 would have allowed local communities to create "infrastructure and revitalization financing districts" if approved by 55% of voters.
Pérez wanted to expand their powers to more clearly allow them to use property tax money and bond revenue to buy land and build housing and to construct and renovate commercial and industrial buildings.
"Expanding the scope of infrastructure financing districts is premature," Brown wrote in his veto message. "This measure would likely cause cities to focus their efforts on using new tools provided by the measure instead of winding down redevelopment. This would prevent the state from achieving the General Fund savings assumed in this year’s budget."
The veto message was similar for Steinberg’s measure that would have allowed cities to set up "sustainable communities investment authorities" to help the development of neighborhoods near transit hubs with housing and factories that provide equipment for the clean energy industry. That bill is SB 1156.
Brown liked the idea but wrote in his veto message: "I prefer to take a constructive look at implementing this type of program once the winding down of redevelopment is complete and General Fund savings achieved."
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Christina House / For The Times