With Gov. Jerry Brown proposing to eliminate city redevelopment agencies, these same agencies are rushing to approve as much spending as possible, according to news reports. Three cities even approved projects in a rush over the holiday weekend.
Why the hurry? It's not merely that Brown is seeking to get his budget proposal, which includes the redevelopment change, by March. No, there is concern among cities about the possibility that the legislature could take quick action before that to prevent the redevelopment agencies from approving more projects and debt in this interim. The Legislative Analyst's Office has recommended as much.
This may be an end-run around Brown, but it's also good news for the new governor, in two ways. First, the cities' hasty approvals means they believe that Brown's proposal has a good chance of passage. And oddly, all of the deals and spending enacted at once may provide a small economic stimulus to some cities around the state.