Legislation to provide overdue revenue to four Riverside County cities was unanimously approved today by the state Assembly.
“I am looking forward to sending this bill to the governor and having him sign this long overdue measure of fairness and equity,” said Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside. “Restoring funding to Riverside County’s four newest cities
has been one of my highest priorities in the Senate.”
SB 25 had been held up in the Assembly after passing the Senate in May. The proposal’s fate appeared uncertain as the Legislature approached its Sept. 11 deadline to complete business in the current legislative session.
During today’s Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, there was contained enthusiasm about SB 25’s prospects.
“We’ve seen prior bills just like this one get vetoed,” said Supervisor John Tavaglione, who was in contact with Roth via text messaging during the board’s policy calendar.
“Pray God this time the governor signs it,” Supervisor John Benoit said in response.
At issue is $20.75 million that would be made available for the benefit of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar.
Roth’s bill and another, Assembly Bill 113, seek to restore funding on a one-time basis that the cities lost due to a change in the law four years ago.
Under SB 25, beginning in the next fiscal year, vehicle license fee revenue would be allocated to the four cities based on a formula that factors in population and local property tax assessments.
SB 25 is similar to a bill that Roth carried last year, which received majority support in both houses of the Legislature, but was vetoed by the governor, who cited concerns about digging into the general fund to make the
For the same reasons, Brown also vetoed an Assembly bill seeking to restore funding to the cities in 2012. Other bills have been submitted but lost traction in the Legislature.
The four cities were entitled to roughly $15 million from the state when the Legislature approved — and the governor signed — SB 89 into law. The act shifted funds owed to cities that incorporated between 2004 and 2011 into a
“Law Enforcement Services Account” established to offset expenses incurred by counties and municipalities under the governor’s public safety realignment plan.
Wildomar incorporated on July 1, 2008; Menifee on Oct. 1, 2008; Eastvale
on Oct. 1, 2010; and Jurupa Valley on July 1, 2011 — two days after SB 89
took effect. The nascent city was the hardest hit financially, losing half the
funds anticipated in its first fiscal year budget.
Jurupa Valley in 2014 filed notice with the Riverside County Local
Agency Formation Commission that it may have to disincorporate and go back to
county control without a financial rescue.
AB 113 would compensate the four cities in the form of a credit to
Riverside County, with the stipulated amount covering part of the county’s
contract with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The proposal, currently stalled in the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review
Committee, has run into opposition from the League of California Cities because
it would further empower the California Department of Finance in the
dissolution of individual cities’ and counties’ redevelopment agencies.