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California Supreme Court to decide fate of redevelopment agencies

December 29, 2011 |  7:59 am

The California Supreme Court will decide the fate of hundreds of redevelopment agencies Thursday in a ruling on the legality of using $1.7 billion of their revenues to balance the state budget.

During a hearing in November, the state high court appeared inclined to permit the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown to abolish municipal redevelopment agencies. But the court did not clearly indicate whether some agencies could continue if they shared their revenues with schools and special districts.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit by redevelopment agencies against two budget-balancing bills. Half of the state's redevelopment money is supposed to be turned over on Jan. 15.

Justice Joyce L. Kennard suggested during the hearing that the court might rule that it was legal for the state to abolish redevelopment agencies but illegal to require them to share their revenues. A lawyer for the redevelopment agencies called that the worst possible outcome.

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— Maura Dolan

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