After disentangling itself from the morass of feel-good decrees and distractions like the Wagner Wars, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to sue Sacramento if state legislators or the governor try to seize local redevelopment and highway taxes to shore up California's budget. As the budget crisis burns through one institution after another, from colleges to prisons, the torpidly genteel atmosphere of local governance has given way to fang-and-claw combat. Today's vote came in response to the newly proposed state budget, which has yet to be approved by the legislature and governor, but which calls for taking away funds from local communities, to be given to the state treasury.
"For the state," Reuters quoted Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, "to balance its budget on the backs of the state
residents most in need of help, and the counties that serve them, is fiscally
reckless and morally bankrupt."
However, according to the L.A. Times, should the supervisors sue, "it will likely trigger a provision in the proposed legislation that allows the state to take $301 million in county Proposition 1A funds."
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Also threatening to sue the state are the California State Association
of Counties and the League of California Cities. Meanwhile, the L.A.
City Council will meet Friday to similarly consider suing the state to hold
onto to local funds.