California redevelopment agencies may be gone, thanks to last
year's budget and a State Supreme Court ruling. But at least
$1 billion still sits in their bank accounts. Top Democrats
want to use that money for affordable housing projects - but it
could be rolled into the state budget instead.
Redevelopment supporters hope lawmakers will create a new
program - though that debate might take a year or two. In the
short term, they're backing a measure that recently passed the
Assembly. Jim Kennedy with the California Redevelopment
Association says it would direct some unspent, leftover money to
affordable housing projects.
Kennedy: "Here you're talking
about a very discreet and defined amount of money, sort of a
one-time opportunity to retain it and use it for the purpose that
it was actually received in the first place."
Democratic Senate President Darrell Steinberg supports that
idea too - but says the state's budget needs may trump it.
And legislative Republicans have already proposed using that money
in their budget instead of raising taxes or cutting