Cheering a California rebound, Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a State of the State address Thursday that laid out the legacy-building ideas he will work on during the second part of his term, including K-12 education reform, high-speed rail and the largest upgrade to the state's water-delivery system in decades.
Gov. Jerry Brown looked back at what he called a "remarkable" year and outlined his vision for California in 2013 Thursday morning during his annual State of the State address.
Full Text: 2013 State of the State Address
High-speed rail, education finances, climate change, jobs, health care and projects involving California's water supply and other infrastructure issues were all mentioned during the Thursday morning address in Sacramento. The speech comes about two months after voters approved Prop 30, Brown's measure that he described during the November election as a way to fund "the California Dream."
Brown's third State of the State address marked a shift in tone from his 2012 speech in which he talked of a state "on the mend" and warned of the ramifications if his education tax measure failed. The speech comes about two weeks after Brown proposed a state budget of $97.6 billion for fiscal year 2013-2014.
That's about $6.3 billion more than the current fiscal year budget.
"California has once again confounded our critics," Brown said to open the address. "We have a solid and enduring budget, and we're going to keep in that way for years to come."
Prop 30's tax increases on incomes over $250,000 would be in effect for seven years. A sales tax increase of a quarter-cent cent will be in effect for four years.
"We have promises to keep," Brown said. "The most important one is the one we made to the people if Prop 30 passed. This means living within our means and not spending what we don't have."
Brown referenced Bible passages and quoted President Franklin Roosevelt to emphasize the importance of building "reserves against the leaner times that will surely come." He alluded to California historical figures and quoted French writer Montaigne when he encouraged lawmakers to do more than "producing hundreds of new laws each year."
Half-way through his term, the Democratic governor enters 2013 with his party in control of the legislative and executive branches. Democrats now hold two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Legislature after the November election.
"It's easier when you've got more than a majority of your own party in control of the Legislature," said Bebitch Jeffe. "But it all depends on leadership."
Brown touched on education funding and a budget summary that calls for discretion at the local level. He asked lawmakers to approve a local funding formula that distributes supplemental funds to districts based on "real world problems," such as income and the number of English-language speakers.
The governor devoted a portion of the address to a plan to address potential impacts on California's water supply in the event of an earthquake, storm or flood.
"My proposed plan is two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the Delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration," said Brown. "Yes, that is big but so is the problem."
As expected, he also discussed what could be a major part of his legacy -- high-speed rail. The first phase of the project will be built from Madera to Bakersfield before extending through the Tehachapi Mountains to Palmdale.
The project will require 30 miles of tunnels and bridges.
"It is bold but so is everything else about California," said Brown.