It might sound like a man-bites-dog moment, but the Assembly is working to return millions of dollars to many of the cities across the state. A bill sponsored by Assembly Speaker John Perez would allow cities to collect on many loans made to redevelopment agencies.

His bill represents a fairly comprehensive clean up measure to the hasty and messy dissolution of redevelopment in California. In the wake of the rapid wind-down, murdered redevelopment agencies left a wake of collateral damage in its path. Cities are reeling from the loss of millions of dollars, and many low- and moderate-income housing projects have been shelved. AB 1585 would change that.

Under the law as it is currently written, only loans given to redevelopment agencies in their first two years may be considered debt obligations and be repaid. All other loans are not eligible for debt service payments. That means that cities like Visalia could lose out on payments on more than $7 million in loans. The loss of that money could deal another body blow to many cities of all sizes.

City budget’s aren’t the only potential beneficiary of AB 1585. Low income housing would also receive additional funding in the bill. The bill would ensure that deposits made into the Low and Moderate Income Housing Fund would continue to be made available for those purposes, instead of being redistributed as property tax revenues.

Perez’s bill, AB 1585, has become something of a last hope for cities, but even its passage doesn’t guarantee the money will make it to the cities. Governor Brown, who originally created the idea of taking from redevelopment for schools, counties, and special districts, would have the opportunity to kill the bill.