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Governor Delivers State of the State Address

January 17, 2012

Pushes Tax Initiative, Calls On Voters to "Close the Gap"

Today, Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his state of the state address during a joint session of the Senate and Assembly.


Joining the Governor for the address were Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, State Controller John Chiang, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Chair of the State Board of Equalization Jerome Horton and State Board of Equalization Board Members Betty Yee, George Runner, Michelle Steel, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and California Supreme Court Associates Marvin Baxter, Kathryn Werdegar, Ming Chen, Carol Corrigan, and Godwin Liu.

After a short introduction by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom praised the work done last year by the Governor and Legislature to pass a budget on time and reduce the state's deficit. The Lieutenant Governor called for continued work and unity before introducing the Governor.

Gov. Brown began his speech optimistically, saying "California is on the mend."

After highlighting progress made in balancing the state's budget through cuts, he discussed his tax initiative calling the matter "unfinished business" that "must be done."

The Governor highlighted his goals for the state which included: expanding the use of renewable energy, launching the high speed rail system, and the completion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. He also devoted a significant portion of his speech to his proposal to provide increased flexibility to school districts, replacing categorical programs with a new weighted student formula, and the streamlining school evaluation process.

The Governor also spoke briefly about the need to ensure that prison realignment continues to progress and that there was much to do to protect public safety and reduce recidivism.

On pension reform he spoke only briefly at the end of his speech. He encouraged the legislature to take action on his previously issued 12-point proposal, but did not give the topic the emphasis he placed on other issues. "I am committed to pension reform because I believe there is a real problem. Three times as many people are retiring as are entering the workforce. That arithmetic doesn't add up," said Gov. Brown "So we have to take action. And we should do it this year."

The full text of the Governor's speech can be found on his website.

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