By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Friday, Jul. 29, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 4A
California Attorney General Kamala Harris told the state Supreme Court this week that it should allow the state’s elimination of redevelopment agencies to proceed.
In a rare “informal opposition” filed Wednesday on behalf of the Department of Finance, Harris wrote that cities seeking to retain redevelopment agencies have filed a “meritless” claim. She said the state created redevelopment agencies by statute and that nothing in the constitution prohibits the state from revoking them by statute.
On a majority vote, lawmakers voted last month to eliminate redevelopment agencies and offer a path for agencies to reconstitute themselves as long as they send substantial payments to school districts and local governments. Legislative officials believe the plan will save the state $1.7 billion this fiscal year by reducing the state’s financial responsibility to schools.
Cities and redevelopment agencies filed a lawsuit last week asking the Supreme Court to immediately block the two-bill redevelopment plan. They said the plan is unconstitutional in part because voters agreed last year to prohibit the state from compelling payments from redevelopment agencies.
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