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Gov Vetoes Budget, Fight Breaks Out Over Redevelopment Money

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Under threat of lost wages and with a power to pass budgets with a simple majority, Democrats pushed out a California budget yesterday on time. There was something for everyone to get upset over in the plan--accounting trickery, huge cuts to the UC and CSU systems and to local law enforcement, new sales taxes for online retail, a renewed state building fire sale plan, and new fees for residents in fire-prone rural areas--and indeed, Governor Brown has gone and quickly vetoed the deal. But non-passage aside, redevelopment agencies stirred up some trouble during the budget talks yesterday, the LA Times reports. As mentioned yesterday, it would take Republican support to eliminate RDAs (or Community Redevelopment Agencies as we know them around here), so instead the Dems wanted the state to force "them to join a new program and pay the state $1.7 billion for the privilege." (Who knows if those payments would have to come out of money specially socked away to avoid this kind of thing.) Things got especially heated when Irvine Republican Donald Wagner said he thought he had seen a similar plan "on an episode of The Sopranos," NBC Los Angeles reports. La Canada Flintridge Democrat Anthony Portantino objected to what he saw as a slur on Italian-Americans, so Wagner doubled down: "I will apologize to any Italian-Americans who are not in the Mafia and engaged in insurance scams." Lakewood Democrat Warren Furutani got involved and he and Wagner eventually had to be separated. Classy bunch all around. We can't wait for round two. [Some threatened CRA/LA projects]
· Jerry Brown vetoes California budget [CNN]
· California Democrats pass budget with taxes, cuts and tricks [LAT]
· Lawmakers Spar Over "Sopranos" Comment [NBC LA]
· CRA Scrambles to Sock Away Nearly $1 Billion for Projects* [Curbed LA]