One night before Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget will reach the floor of the California legislature, Santa Clarita City officials moved quickly to lock up funds and properties within the city’s redevelopment area.
Both the State Senate and Assembly will meet Wednesday to vote on the Governor’s spending cuts, which include the elimination of California’s redevelopment agencies.
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As a preemptive measure, City officials met Tuesday night at a special public meeting and approved the transfer of property entitlements and leasehold agreements from the Redevelopment Agency to the City.
“The state takes enough of our hard-earned money. We don’t want them to take any more,” said Duane Harte.
Even with the transfer, the City is still obligated to honor encumbered funding, such as satisfying the 20 percent for affordable housing, said City Attorney Joe Montes.
The Council members – without Laurene Weste, who was absent – also voted to shift the $17.1 in funds for the construction of the Old Town Newhall Library.
“In light of the legislation, this was an additional precautionary measure to ensure that funds, should the legislation be adopted, are available,” said Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez.
Per Mayor Marsha McLean’s request, the City will keep funds transferred from the Agency to the City in an account separate from the General Fund.
By wiping out redevelopment agencies and other assorted programs, such as enterprise zones, Brown’s office would slash $12.5 billion from California’s $26.6 million budget gap.
The Governor hopes to fill the remaining deficit by convincing enough GOP members to call a special election, slated for June, to extend tax increases.