On January 24, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown presented his State of the State address in the Assembly Chambers. The audience included California’s Constitutional Officers, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and members of the Legislature.
The Governor began his address by praising California for “confounding the critics,” who were skeptical of California’s ability to erase our budget deficit. In doing so, Governor Brown thanked all Californians for believing in our great state by passing bills and taxes needed to close the budget deficit. The Governor advised the Legislature to act responsibly, as raising taxes were passed in good faith by Californians. Additionally, the Governor warned that there will always be unknown cost pressures in the future that we must be prepared for.
The Governor continued his address by presenting his priorities for the year. Some of the highlights of his priorities are:
- K-12 Education: Focus policy at the local level, keeping the state in a position to ‘assist’ local entities if necessary.
- Higher Education: Keep tuition and cost pressures down, and increase access to the classes students need to graduate from higher education institutions.
- Health Care: Convene a special session to continue to lay the groundwork needed to fully implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). By doing so, California will work out the right relationship with counties to assure a seamless transition of the expansion of Medi-Cal that is required under the ACA.
- Jobs: Change the Enterprise Zone and Jobs Hiring Credit Programs to encourage job creation in California. Utilize partnerships with China to strengthen our trade and investment relationships.
- Water: Improve the ecology of the Delta and continue to improve the water flow throughout the Central Valley. Investing in the Delta will serve California for hundreds of years.
- Climate Change: Continue to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, while reducing electricity consumption through efficiency standards for building and appliances. Continue to meet renewable energy goals of generating electricity by the sun and wind, and find other sources of renewable energy.
- Transportation and High Speed Rail: Explore long term funding options for California’s highways, and continue to meet California’s goal of building the nation’s first High-Speed Railway.
Governor Brown instilled energy and hopes in the Chambers of the Legislature, and challenged the members to continue showing the nation how great California is. By starting the year off with a balanced budget, the Governor believes we can meet these goals. A full text of the Governor’s State of the State address can be found here.
For any questions on the State of the State Address, please contact the Legislative Team.