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Redevelopment Agencies Live to See Another...Day?

By: Rick E. Rayl, Bradford B. Kuhn
03/17/11

Yesterday Governor Brown sought approval of his budget proposal from the leaders of both legislative houses.  One of the most contentious overhaul items dealt with the elimination of California's redevelopment agencies.  Along with a series of other bills intended to implement the Governor's budget plan, Senate Bill 77 was scheduled for a 1 p.m. discussion.  Because the package of bills is crafted as "urgency legislation" (meaning they would take effect immediately), passage requires two-thirds approval. 

As the afternoon wore on in the Assembly, several bills were presented for a vote, including SB 77.  Initially, most failed to garner the necessary support.  But, as the day wore on, re-votes were called, and most of the bills before the Assembly ultimately passed with exactly the 54 votes required.

However, despite a series of votes lasting well into the night (the final vote was announced at around 9:30 p.m.), SB 77 continued to fall short, first garnering 50 votes and later receiving 53 votes – a mere one vote short of approval.  All day, the votes aligned almost entirely along party lines, with Republicans refusing to agree to end redevelopment.

But the debate is not over, and Governor Brown does not appear willing to throw in the towel quite yet.  The Assembly is scheduled to reconvene at 11:00 a.m. today.

The backdoor lobbying taking place is nothing short of fascinating.  How the vote changed from 50 in favor to 53 over the course of the day, and why so many other measures eventually reached 54 votes (meaning enough Republicans were convinced to side with the Governor) when SB 77 could not will undoubtedly be an interesting tale – if we ever get to hear it. 

We will see what today brings.  For all the updates, you can follow our blog at www.CaliforniaEminentDomainReport.com, or you can actually watch the session live on the California Channel.  Finally, for a pretty detailed report on the entire legislative session yesterday, see John Myers' article, "Brown Cajoles, GOP Demurs."


Rick E. Rayl is the Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group and a member of the Firm's Real Estate Practice Group.  Mr. Rayl is an experienced trial attorney dealing with eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real estate and business disputes.  He is also editor of the blog, "California Eminent Domain Report."  Mr. Rayl can be reached at rrayl@nossaman.com or 949.833.7800.

Bradford B. Kuhn is a member of Nossaman's Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group and specializes in real estate and business litigation with an emphasis on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real estate disputes.  He can be reached at bkuhn@nossaman.com or 949.833.7800.

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