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Judge's decision could safeguard billions for state budget

April 10, 2014|By Chris Megerian

SACRAMENTO -- When it comes to the state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown may have one less thing to worry about thanks to a recent court ruling.

A Superior Court judge in Sacramento upheld the state's push to recoup $20 million from Brentwood, part of Brown's effort to collect money from defunct redevelopment agencies.

If Brentwood had prevailed, the result could have been a domino effect with more cities challenging the state and potentially blowing a big hole in Brown's latest budget proposal.

About $3 billion from roughly 150 former agencies was at stake, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance.

“We’re pleased the judge, in his final ruling, upheld the state’s position," he said.

By siding with the state in his final opinion, Judge Allen Sumner reversed an earlier preliminary decision. He wrote that the city made persuasive arguments but he decided to give the benefit of the doubt to the state.

Brentwood, which used the $20 million for projects like widening sidewalks and renovating a park, plans to appeal the decision. 

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Jerry Brown ready to commit to a rainy-day fund

Proposition 30 win no guarantee of fiscal safety for California

Brown budget proposes more spending but also fiscal restraint

Twitter: @chrismegerian

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