Confronting Vital Redevelopment Issues
Several important California redevelopment issues are coming to the forefront. To help YOU stay up to date, and help your organization engage, check out these 3 items:
1. Expanding Redevelopment Agency Authority
As the fight continues to protect funds for our local redevelopment agencies, an effort is under way in the legislature that would expand the authority of redevelopment agencies.
AB 2531, authored by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, would give redevelopment agencies additional authority to provide loans, loan guarantees and other financial assistance to businesses, assist nonprofits and public agencies to establish small business incubators, and clarifies the City of Los Angeles' authority to apply for and administer federal funding for economic development.
Supporters include the California Redevelopment Association, VICA and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., various municipalities, business, community and labor organizations. BizFed's Advocacy Committee voted to support the legislation at its monthly meeting May 6.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee meets on this May 19th.
· Attached is our SUPPORT letter we sent today to the panel..... 6 of whom are from LA County, including the bill's author and chair of this committee, Fuentes.
· The Republican members need our particular focus as most of the Dems are already in support. (the committee list is attached with pertinent details on their background/priorities/contact info)
· Use this letter or modify it for your organization, but PLEASE put your name on it and fax it to any or all of the Assembly members on this committee.
2. Raid on Local Redevelopment Funds
Cities and counties across California are writing checks to the state government this week totaling nearly $2 billion in local redevelopment funds after a Superior Court judge ruled last week that a state raid on the local funds was legal and an appeal by the California Redevelopment Association was denied.
At a time when local economies are continuing to struggle, this loss of local redevelopment dollars will have a profound effect – for Los Angeles County, it has been estimated this amount will total about $400 million.
While the redistribution of funds is designated to be used to help support schools within redevelopment agency boundaries, the raid clearly undermines job-creation goals and sets a dangerous precedent of future similar state raids for myriad issues deemed "redevelopment." (Attached is an editorial published in the Contra Costa Times today that outlines the issue and concerns.)
· CRA Executive Director, John Shirey, told BizFed's Advocacy Committee last week that the CRA intends to continue its appeal of the ruling, and will look to BizFed for support in its efforts.
3. Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010
CRA also is part of a coalition, led by the League of California Cities, recently submitted 1.1 million signatures to help qualify a measure for the November 2010 ballot that would protect local funding from such state raids. We'll keep all BizFed members posted on this measure –- with full details when it has officially qualified for the ballot. To read more about the effort, see http://www.savelocalservices.com/
Tracy Rafter, CEO
BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation
818.429.0862 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
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