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Capitol Roundup: Final Effort to Save Redevelopment Dead

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Redevelopment All but Dead
A bill intended to be redevelopment agencies' last-ditch effort at survival isn't going anywhere at the Capitol. The agencies now have to close their doors next week.

Ever since last month's California Supreme Court ruling gave redevelopment agencies a February 1st deadline to dissolve, redevelopment supporters have pulled out all the stops to push back that deadline.  Problem is, the court ruling gives them little to no leverage.  Governor Jerry Brown has said he sees no need to delay what he calls redevelopment's "funeral."  And as for the chances of a last-minute bill getting through the legislature:

Steinberg: "It's not going to happen."

That's Senate President Darrell Steinberg.

Steinberg: "I'm skeptical. I think the speaker's skeptical. And the governor is dead-set against the bill."

The focus now turns to whether the legislature - and governor - want to create a new form of local economic development - and what that system would look like.

Single-Payer Stalls Too

The State Senate has rejected the latest effort to create a single-payer health care system in California.

The measure failed 19-to-14 - two votes shy of the 21 needed for passage.  Several moderate Democrats either abstained or voted no.  Of the Democrats who voted yes, many expressed concerns over the bill's cost.  But Senator Joe Simitian said he based his vote on a more basic question:

Simitian: "Does every Californian have the right to access quality, affordable health care?  Yea or nay?  On that question, I am a yea."

Republicans like Senator Ted Gaines were united in opposition.

Gaines: "We simply don't need to go down a path of rationing our health care in California.  It hasn't worked in other places around the world.  I don't think we want to follow the model of Europe."

The bill could be voted on again, but it faces a Tuesday deadline to pass the Senate.

Brown Campaigns in Southern California

Governor Jerry Brown wrapped up his second multi-day trip this month to Southern California.  His schedule Thursday was full of meetings and speeches intended to win support for his platform of budget cuts, taxes and pension changes.

In an LA radio interview, Brown called on both parties to make difficult decisions that alienate their supporters to get the state back on track.

Brown: "I gotta tell you - you can say the Democrats are scared of unions.  Well, Republicans are scared of talk show hosts.  And they are afraid even to come down to my office, except through the back door.  We're dealing in a climate of fear on all sides."

The governor also told KPCC Radio that he's raised almost $2 million for his proposed sales and income tax initiative.  He needs that money - and more - to gather signatures to qualify it for the November election.  Records show Brown has already received large donations from the California Hospitals Association, Occidental Petroleum and several Indian tribes.

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