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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he will sign the last-minute bill that eliminates limits on downtown redevelopment, according to the U-T.

Schwarzenegger said the measure would bring jobs to the region, the paper reported. The bill’s author, local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and other proponents argue extending downtown redevelopment through 2033 will create 110,000 jobs.

Fletcher, Mayor Jerry Sanders and downtown redevelopment head Fred Maas have been working on the deal in secret since August. The bill was introduced and passed during all-night state budget negotiations two weeks ago.

Under redevelopment, the city captures a larger share of property taxes that would have flowed to the county government, school district and the entire city in general. The city then invests that money back into a blighted neighborhood and subsidizes development.

So far neither Schwarzenegger nor Fletcher have confirmed the bill’s signing, but local labor and business organizations have praised Schwarzenegger’s decision. The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. was particularly colorful.

“Mayor Sanders and Assemblyman Fletcher are job and housing heroes for championing this proposal,” said Andrew Poat, an EDC vice president, in a release.

Sanders and Fletcher tried to put criticism over their handling of the bill behind them yesterday, promising a public process to understand the deal’s effects on San Diego County and city neighborhoods other than downtown. Sanders and Fletcher’s promise was enough to sway City Councilwoman Donna Frye, previously the deal’s most outspoken opponent. But County Supervisor Dianne Jacob remains peeved and has threatened litigation.

County supervisors had planned to discuss filing a lawsuit to challenge the deal today but didn’t take any action.

Update: Schwarzenegger has signed the bill since we first posted this story. “We are not picking one city over the other, but we are trying to find ways of getting people to build and create jobs. That’s what this bill is about,” the governor said.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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