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State lawmakers approved billions of dollars in budget cuts Wednesday, but left some of the most contentious issues — placing tax extensions on the ballot and eliminating redevelopment — for another day.
Redevelopment’s reprieve came by one vote in the state Assembly, despite personal lobbying efforts by Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown has pushed to eliminate the program as part of his overall budget plan. From the Los Angeles Times:
As votes were being cast in chambers, Brown decamped to the office of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) to twist arms. He called reluctant Assembly members into private meetings, one by one, to press them to abolish redevelopment agencies. If Brown’s redevelopment proposal passes, it is projected to generate as much as $1.7 billion to balance the budget.
The elimination would dismantle a network of more than 400 redevelopment agencies across the state that are charged with spending billions in property taxes to improve blighted neighborhoods. Critics say some of those funds have been misspent and could be better used during the state’s fiscal crisis.
Action on redevelopment and numerous other cuts could start again today.
There’s a lively discussion on Twitter among statehouse reporters and local politicos and observers on redevelopment. That’s the best way to stay informed during the day about what’s happening in Sacramento.