This League-supported legislation would create a new tool for economic development and affordable housing for California’s poorest and disadvantaged communities. Its passage on the Assembly Floor by a significant margin reflects legislative realization that California’s most struggling communities need additional tools that can spur much-needed revitalization.
The League thanks Assembly Members Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), Edwardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and other legislators who have helped champion and support this important legislation. A video link to the Assembly Floor discussion on AB 2 is available online
Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), the bill’s first author, has worked on earlier versions of this legislation in the previous two legislative sessions. Last year AB 2280 (Alejo) went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk; while the Governor vetoed it, he communicated he would support the policy if it was redrafted outside the former redevelopment law. AB 2 has been redrafted to accomplish that request.
AB 2 would authorize the creation of a Community Revitalization Investment Authority (CRIA) at the local level. This agency would be empowered to invest the property tax increment of consenting local agencies (other than schools) and use other available funding to improve conditions leading to increased employment opportunities, including reducing high crime rates, repairing deteriorated and inadequate infrastructure, and developing affordable housing.
Its powers and responsibilities would mirror those of former redevelopment agencies, but have been tightened in several ways including adding rigorous accountability criteria and increasing the traditional affordable housing set-aside to 25 percent.
Many California communities continue to rebound after the effects of the last recession. However, not all do, especially the state’s most challenged areas. It is these communities that need more options that provide investments to address aging infrastructure, lack of affordable housing and remediate environmental conditions. AB 2 embodies the core of what led to redevelopment — a tool to assist poor areas and dilapidated urban cores that will not be improved without such a policy.
AB 2 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it will be assigned to its first Senate legislative policy committee hearing. The League will provide notice on upcoming hearings as soon as information becomes available.
The bill’s language, the League’s support letters as well as a sample support letter for cities to use are all available on the League’s website