26 August 2005

SB 4 passes Appropriations Committee

Yesterday, SB 4 passed easily in the State Assembly's Appropriations Committee, 13-4. The three Bay Area Assembly members on the committee (Mark Leno, Johan Klehs, Joe Nation) all voted yes. Now, it should be on to a third reading and a vote in the Assembly. Afterwards, the heavily-amended bill has to go back to the Senate for approval, and then finally to the Governor's desk. SB 4 will have to compete with dozens of other bills, many of which are higher profile. The journey through the Legislature must be completed by September 9, which marks the end of the session.

Again, should SB 4 pass, there are possibilities for raising tax-free financing for a new ballpark and surrounding infrastructure, without requiring a local vote to authorize funds. Because the bill itself has been weakened, it's only reasonable to expect that the I-Bank Board would be very careful about how it qualifies projects, since it will have the final say. If the Wolff plan proceeds with land acquisition and then construction, it's likely that either the JPA or Oakland would be asked to make a proposal to the I-Bank, even though the revenue streams used to pay off the stadium would be largely private.