With the state’s budget plan still uncertain, Union City Mayor Mark Green issued a statement Wednesday condemning California legislators for passing what he called an “illegal” budget last week.
The budget plan drafted by the California Legislature on June 15 was vetoed the following day by Gov. Jerry Brown, who stated that the plan was unbalanced. It “contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings,” the governor said in a June 16 video statement.
“I’m glad that he vetoed that thing, but I’m not optimistic that anything good for the cities will come out of it,” Mayor Green said.
In question, and of particular interest to Green, are two "trailer bills"—AB 1X 26 and AB 1X 27—that accompanied the budget plan and were passed by state legislators, but have not yet been sent to Brown. The bills call for the elimination of the 400 redevelopment agencies throughout the state.
The action would divert $1.7 billion to cities, counties and schools, according to a report by the Legislative Analyst's Office. But redevelopment supporters say the move would have devastating impacts on cities.
“I am extremely disappointed in the state lawmakers who passed a reckless and illegal budget (last) Wednesday, ignoring the dire consequences their irresponsibility will have on local communities,” Green said in a statement released Wednesday. “This elimination and hostage-taking of local redevelopment funds puts our city and the entire State of California on the wrong track.”
If Brown signs the bills and Union City’s redevelopment agency is canned, the city will not be able to complete vital development projects, including the , a transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly community located within a quarter-mile of the BART station, Green said.
Housing projects are already in the area, but those would be curtailed, along with new jobs, Green said. He estimates that some 10,200 new jobs could be created through redevelopment projects. The work in the Station District would also generate up to $68 million in state and local revenues, according to Green.
Union City also has a significant amount of blight, which cannot be cleaned up without the redevelopment agency, Green said.
“I call on Gov. Jerry Brown to do the right thing and veto AB 1X 26 and AB 1X 27 and help put California back on a road to economic recovery,” the mayor said.