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Friedman Bill Calls for More Investment in Struggling Business Districts

Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s transformational RISE Act passes the Assembly

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO— Nearly four years after the onset of the pandemic, where we live and work has inexorably changed. With the rise of remote work, workplace knowledge is no longer tied to the office, leaving downtown business districts languishing and nearby supportive businesses shuttered. To Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), the solution is an obvious one, creating new avenues for housing investment with Assembly Bill 930, the Reinvestment in Infrastructure for a Sustainable and Equitable California (RISE) Act.  Today, AB 930 passed the Assembly (with bipartisan support, or on a vote of 52-16-12).

“Downtowns are still attractive places to live. Reinvigorating them means not only reimagining them, but making the funding available to spur that transformation; and that’s what the RISE Act does,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “I could not be happier that AB 930 passed the Assembly today with bipartisan support.”

Cities throughout California are in agreement about what the future looks like: affordable, climate-resilient housing, bikeable, walkable communities with ample access to parks, entertainment, museums, restaurants, grocery stores, and amenities, centered around transportation hubs that reduce our car dependence. Making that future a reality means that California must re-invest in our downtown business corridors.

California has done this before. In 1945, California enacted the Community Redevelopment Act to assist local governments in eliminating blight through development. Lasting sixty-seven years, the program was a stellar success. Modeled on that success, AB 930 will allow two or more local governments to form a RISE district to access tax increment funding.

With a bevy of former office buildings available for renovation into housing, thirty percent of RISE funds are dedicated to affordable housing.

“This will increase our ability to build affordable housing and infrastructure here in California,” says Mia Kang, Director of the Council of Infill Builders. “We’re excited that AB 930 passed the Assembly and look forward to working to ensure it passes the Senate as well.”

“Downtowns thrive when government invests in them,” says Assemblymember Friedman. “I very much look forward to AB 930 passing the Senate and becoming law.”

AB 930 now moves to the Senate and will likely have its first policy committee vote in June.

Laura Friedman represents 44th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Los Angeles, as well as the communities of La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, Montrose, North Hollywood, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sunland-Tujunga, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village.