Eastvale is among four new cities that lost vehicle license fee revenue when the state redirected it to local law enforcement grants.(File Photo/2010)


Published: 02 March 2012 02:32 PM

SACRAMENTO — Inland Southern California lawmakers are making a new push to restore state budget cuts that threaten the solvency of Riverside County’s newest cities.

A bipartisan measure introduced last week is meant to provide $14 million to the cities of Wildomar, Menifee, Eastvale and Jurupa Valley. The new bill also would direct $4 million to a handful of cities, including Fontana, that recently annexed inhabited areas.

“Basically, we need to have these funds reinstated. It is our survival,” Jurupa Valley Mayor Laura Roughton said last week.

The money was part of $200 million in vehicle-license fee money redirected last summer to replace an expired funding source for local law-enforcement grants. Every city lost money in the shift, based on their population.

Hit hardest, however, were cities that have incorporated since 2004, all of which are in Riverside County. A 2006 law gives those cities an extra boost of license-fee revenue to help them get established.

Some Republicans contended last summer that Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers targeted the cut at cities in GOP districts. Democrats rejected the charges and blamed Republicans for refusing to support additional revenues that would have avoided the city cuts and others.

An attempt to restore the money failed on the last night of the 2011 legislative session in September.

In recent weeks, city officials met with legislative staff and the Brown administration to smooth over bruised feelings and try to reach a solution.

Eastvale City Manager Robert Van Nort said he left a meeting in Sacramento last month feeling positive that there would be a fix. Eastvale Mayor Jeff DeGrandpre, who also was involved in the discussions, agreed.

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