California lawmakers are hunting under every rock for possible money to plug the state’s budget gap. But canceling what CSAC Executive Director Paul McIntosh calls legally binding agreements would go a step too far.

The money, some $250 million of pass-through money received from redevelopment agencies, would be taken by the state and reallocated to schools and local governments – much like other money that shifted hands as part of the end of redevelopment agencies. The end of redevelopment, which Senate President Darrell Steinberg said has largely benefitted counties, should make the loss of the $250 million less painful to swallow. However, counties were already budgeting for their share of the money.

Yolo County, for instance, had 10 percent of its budget revenues coming from the pass-through agreements. Without that $5.5 million, but budget picture looks much different.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The California State Association of Counties, whose support Gov. Jerry Brown has relied upon since taking office last year, immediately slammed a Democratic plan Wednesday to take $250 million that had gone to local governments under deals with now-defunct redevelopment agencies.

Counties had long-standing “pass-through” agreements with redevelopment agencies to receive a share of property tax dollars each year. CSAC Executive Director Paul McIntosh said Wednesday that past agreements are still legally valid and should still be upheld.

“I’m not sure how they can suspend legally binding agreements on contracts,” McIntosh said Wednesday of Democratic lawmakers. CSAC sent a letter (PDF) this afternoon to the Legislature expressing its opposition.

Read the full article here.