A bill that would permit the City of Industry to extend its redevelopment plan's effectiveness for 10 years appears to have died when the bill's author, Sen. Gloria Romero (D-East Los Angeles), pulled SB 1771 before a scheduled mid-April committee hearing.

Rumors had circulated at the Capitol for months that Industry sought to extend its redevelopment powers without having to make updated blight findings, as required by current law. Industry reportedly sought the extension to help fund construction of a professional football stadium on 600 acres owned by developer Ed Roski Jr. Industry officials and Roski have denied there is any connection between redevelopment and the stadium. However, the day after the Senate Local Government Committee was scheduled to consider SB 1771, Roski revealed stadium plans at a press conference.

Originally, SB 1771 was a Sen. Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley) bill concerning credit counseling for homeowners. But the legislation was overhauled on April 10 to permit Industry's redevelopment activities to continue for an additional 10 years. Without the extension, Industry would have to start shutting down redevelopment activities in about four years. Industry's redevelopment agency had revenues of $98 million during the 2005-06 fiscal year, according to the state controller's office.

An unusually long bill analysis for the Senate Local Government Committee raised questions about the legislation, which would permit Industry to sidestep existing legal provisions regarding blight findings and funding for affordable housing. "SB 1771 uncouples the half-century-old policy consensus that requires local officials to document blight before they can get their hands on the property tax revenues that ordinarily go to other local governments, especially school districts," the analysis said.

In a letter to the committee, Christine Minnehan, a lobbyist for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, wrote, "Current law permits all activities sought in SB 1771 if blight — the justification for redevelopment — remains. SB 1771 eviscerates existing law and invites more public outcry against redevelopment."

The football stadium is proposed for 600 acres of vacant land at the junction of the 60 and 57 freeways, a location where Industry approved Roski's proposed 4.8 million-square-foot industrial development in 2004. That project has not gone forward. Now Roski proposes a 75,000-seat stadium, a 5,000-seat concert venue, 1.5 million square feet of office buildings and nearly a 1 million square feet of retail shops and restaurants. The site is not within a redevelopment project area.