San Bernardino Councilman Rikke Van Johnson explains municipal bankruptcy process at a town hall meeting last week. What role has the loss of redevelopment money played in the city's fiscal crisis?
The San Bernardino City Council is expected to vote tonight to declare a fiscal emergency, enabling the Inland Empire municipality to proceed directly to Chapter 9 bankruptcy without passing the 90-day state-mandated "Go" of mediation with its creditors. I've been reporting on how San Bernardino wound up with a fiscal crisis — and why other California cities may be staring down the same nightmare scenario.
But one thing that has city officials particularly enraged in San Bernardino is the loss of state redevelopment money. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature took back money that had been going to redevelopment agencies to close the state's massive budget deficit. The total loss to cities? Around $6 billion.
The move — which was fought by the redevelopment agencies and got all the way to the California Supreme Court, where the new law was upheld — hit San Bernardino hard.