The first order of business was administering the oath of office to former U.S. Rep. Xavier Bacerra as California’s new attorney general. Shortly after, Governor Brown took the podium for his second to last State of the State, which once again served as a reiteration of how he views California’s leadership on a wide range of priorities. The Governor’s command of language, poetry and history became the backdrop of his address, which lasted approximately 20 minutes.
Pointing out the fact that the ship that brought his great grandfather to California from Hamburg, Germany was aptly named “Perseverance,” Governor Brown remarked that perseverance and courage built California.
He said that in preparing today’s speech he reviewed his most recent six State of the State addresses and reflected on what California has accomplished in recent years, celebrating the important policy achievements that define California today. These include:
- Increasing funding to public schools and universities;
- Providing health care insurance to 5 million Californians;
- Increasing the minimum wage;
- Reducing the prison population and sentencing reform;
- Leading on strategies to address climate change;
- Passing a water bond;
- Building the state’s Rainy Day fund; and
- Eliminating the $27 billion deficit California had when the Governor took office for his third term in 2011.
Many of these, and other achievements, occurred through bipartisan leadership and support. The Governor, in today’s address, stressed the importance of bipartisan policies even in a Legislature controlled by a two-thirds Democrat majority. Reaching across the aisle, even when it is not necessary to pass the majority party’s priorities, earns the trust of the people.
Changes at the federal level underlined much of Governor Brown’s State of the State today and he noted several proposals that could have significant impact on California’s budget.
While Governor Brown expressed concern over uncertainty about what President Donald Trump’s policies will mean for California, he did commend President Donald Trump for his inaugural address pledge to invest in America’s infrastructure. The Governor stated that California and Washington, D.C. can work together on this effort, an investment that will create good-paying jobs throughout the United States.
The Fix Our Roads Coalition, of which the League is a founding member, issued a short statement
after the Governor’s address thanking him for including transportation. “We applaud Governor Brown who again put transportation on the front burner for discussion in Sacramento.”