SACRAMENTO -- A bill that would delay the elimination of the 400 community redevelopment agencies in the state does not have sufficient support to pass by the Feb. 1 deadline, the leader of the state Senate said Thursday.
"It's not going to happen," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
He and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, were skeptical about the effort to keep the redevelopment agencies functioning, and Gov. Jerry Brown is against the bill.
Leaders of cities had been trying to fashion a compromise with lawmakers after the state Supreme Court ruled the state had the authority to eliminate the agencies and use their property tax money for local services.
"The focus needs to be on recreating a new set of economic development tools for cities and not on trying to keep alive the current form," Steinberg said.
Lawmakers voted to eliminate the agencies last summer as part of their budget package and to use funds generated by the entities for local services.
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, proposed a bill, SB659, extending the deadline for closing redevelopment agencies to April 15, but Steinberg said he doubted the bill would come up for a vote.
Spokesmen for Padilla and Perez did not immediately return telephone messages.
Steinberg said supporters should concentrate on trying to create more affordable housing, which is one of the goals of redevelopment agencies, and on using redevelopment agency assets to pay for other economic projects.
He said the Senate next week will consider his SB654, which would let local governments spend $2 billion in remaining affordable housing redevelopment funds.
He also calculates that existing redevelopment agency assets are worth more than $2 billion, saying the assets could be sold and the money given back to cities and counties to use for economic development.
"I'm open to other tools as well," Steinberg said, including recreating some form of tax-increment financing program that relies on the same funding strategy as redevelopment agencies.