Governor Brown Puts a Hold on Redevelopment Redo

17 Oct

The Governor has put the brakes on the Legislature’s attempts to develop new economic development tools in the wake of redevelopment’s dissolution.

On September 30, he vetoed SB 1156, saying that his office would prefer to take a “constructive look at implementing” [PDF] the program only after the redevelopment wind down is complete. Governor Brown echoed those sentiments in his veto messages for AB 2144, AB 2551, and SB 214, which would have reformed Infrastructure Finance Districts to help achieve economic development and renewable energy goals. For AB 2144, he writes [PDF] that the “measure would likely cause cities to focus their efforts on using the new tools provided by [AB 2144] instead of winding down redevelopment.”  While the goals of AB 2551 are laudable, Governor Brown felt that the measure was “premature” [PDF].

The Governor’s vetoes make it clear that, from the state’s perspective, local governments should be focusing their efforts on wrapping up the redevelopment dissolution process. For many who were looking to define new tools for local economic development, the Governor’s decision is disheartening. But as California continues to grapple with its precarious fiscal situation, the message from the state’s chief executive has generally been that the state needs to address its immediate budgetary needs before all else. Still, it appears that Governor Brown has left the door open to revisit these ideas after the winding down of redevelopment is complete.

On a more positive note, the Governor signed off on bills that advance the state’s cap and trade program (AB 1532 and SB 535), allow for investments in infill and transit-oriented development funding (AB 1585), and provide more funds for multi-family housing (AB 1951).

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