Gov. Jerry Brown, whose inauguration this week was expected to sink former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's controversial bid to sell 11 state office properties, has been granted an extra month to review the proposal, delaying a court hearing until at least the second half of February.
Before leaving office, Schwarzenegger pleaded unsuccessfully with the California Supreme Court to lift a stay blocking the sale, claiming it would be in jeopardy once Brown took office.
Like many Democrats, Brown has been critical of the transaction and, as state attorney general, declined last year to defend it from a court challenge. He has acknowledged, however, that scuttling the transaction would add an additional $1.3 billion to the state budget deficit.
Schwarzenegger and the Legislature last year approved selling 24 buildings on 11 properties to a group of private investors to raise cash, promising to lease back the properties for 20 years
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office criticized the deal, citing the long-term cost of leasing, and Brown called it imprudent.
Three former state building officials sued to block the sale. Arguments in the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose were scheduled to be heard this month. The court this week granted a request by Brown and the building officials to delay the hearing until after Feb. 17.