City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 29, 2011
Steinberg's considering bill to protect Sacramento if Kings move

As the Anaheim City Council gets ready to vote in a few hours on issuing bonds to fund improvements to that city's Honda Center - the possible future home of the Sacramento Kings - there's still work being done on the home front.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is considering a request by city officials to carry a bill barring Anaheim from moving forward on the bond unless Sacramento is guaranteed the Kings will pay off a loan they owe City Hall.

"At a minimum, the city needs to be protected with its $70 million investment," Steinberg spokesman Mark Hedlund told me this morning. "The pro tem wants to make sure the city is made whole."

The Kings owners said late Monday they have every intention of paying off the loan, should they decide to leave. The Kings are negotiating with Anaheim and have until April 18 to ask the NBA for permission to move there.

Steinberg's office is "studying the situation," Hedlund said.

While Anaheim officials said their $75 million bond would be paid off by the Honda Center's operator - and not taxpayers - Steinberg also wants to make sure no public money would be used to lure the Kings to Southern California.

Steinberg doesn't think "inducing one business to move from one city in California to another" with public money should be encouraged, Hedlund said.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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