SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 107, a measure to address the remaining redevelopment agency bond proceeds that have sat idle since the 2011 dissolution of redevelopment. This legislation represents a compromise between the California Legislature and the Department of Finance. The agreement will resolve ongoing issues with the definitions of redevelopment loans and the interest rates that apply them. Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has authored multiple pieces of legislation to address the fallout from redevelopment’s dissolution and actively participated in the negotiations that led to the successful passage of SB 107. Assemblymember Bloom made the following statement on this historic agreement:
“I applaud Governor Brown for signing this important legislation. I was serving as an elected city official when redevelopment was dissolved and many cities were left with unresolved issues. In some cases, these issues resulted in an inability to break ground on important projects or, worse, litigation. Since being elected to the Legislature in 2012, I have worked diligently with cities and stakeholders throughout the state to resolve these remaining issues,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “The compromise signed by the Governor today will have many positive impacts across the state. Releasing a substantial portion of the redevelopment bond proceeds for their intended projects, including funding for affordable housing and parks, will generate thousands of jobs and create hundreds of millions of dollars in statewide economic activity, as well as millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues."
The agreement will resolve ongoing issues with the definitions of redevelopment loans and the interest rates that apply them. In 2011, facing a severe budget shortfall, the Governor and Legislature dissolved redevelopment agencies and redirected an annual amount of $1.7 billion away from various community development and affordable housing projects. Unfortunately, many redevelopment agencies had already legally issued bonds for local projects and were forced to make debt payments even though they cannot reap the economic benefits of projects stalled by the dissolution. Statewide, approximately $715 million in 2011 redevelopment bond proceeds have sat untouched. Prior to Senate Bill 107, cities were expected to make debt payments for a decade, costing them nearly $1 billion while not completing a single redevelopment project with these bond proceeds.
The agreement will allow local cities in Assembly District 50, including Santa Monica and West Hollywood, to resolve millions of dollars of disputed redevelopment funding. This funding will be used for various public works projects. For example, the City of West Hollywood will be able to access $15 million in redevelopment agency money for affordable housing projects and for improvements to Plummer Park. Statewide, approximately $360 million of bond proceeds will be made available, of that amount, $135 million will be allocated for affordable housing and $225 million for infrastructure projects.
Richard Bloom chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation. He represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.