SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Citing scripture, Yates and FDR among others, Gov. Jerry Brown celebrated California’s resurgence on Thursday in his State of the State address to the legislature.
“Against those who take pleasure, singing of our demise, California did the impossible,” Brown said at the beginning of his speech.
Brown praised the legislature for enacting pension reform and cutting billions from the budget and he thanked voters for passing Proposition 30, the tax measure passed in November that he said was absolutely critical to the state’s future. It raises the state’s sales tax for the next seven years.
However, he cautioned lawmakers that the state must live within its means. “We have promises to keep. And the most important is the one we made to the voters if Proposition 30 passed: that we would guard jealously the money temporarily made available.”
Brown addressed education, health care, jobs, the state’s water supply, climate change and high-speed rail in his address.
He again hit on his plan to restore more authority to local school districts and his formula for state funding based on need. He acknowledged the problems facing higher education but said tuition increases are not the solution.
“I will not let the students become the default financiers of our colleges and universities,” Brown said.
Watch Entire Speech
In regards to jobs, Brown said the state is on the rebound but more must be down to cut down on regulatory delays. He noted the state’s relations with China and said California will open a trade and investment office in Shanghai this year.
Brown vowed to push ahead with the controversial high-speed rail project, noting China and Spain already have miles of tracks and even Morocco is building one. He signed the original high-speed authority in 1982 during his first term as governor, but he promised the project would succeed.
“I think I can, I think I can,” he said in reference to “The Little Engine That Could” children’s book. “We’re going to get over that mountain.”
Brown concluded his speech by saying he’d never been more excited to be in office.
“Two years ago, they were writing our obituary. Well it didn’t happen. California is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move,” he said.