Governor Jerry Brown delivered his State of the State speech on Tuesday, touting what he views as his Administration’s accomplishments, calling for more civility and bi-partisanship in the Capitol, vowing to fight the new Trump Administration on Obamacare and environmental issues but cooperate on infrastructure; absent was the foreboding about future budget deficits so prominent in his recent budget press conference.
Reactions from Orange County legislators:
Senator Pat Bates (R-SD36): “The governor is absolutely right when he said that ‘When California does well, America does well.’ That is why it is critical for California’s leaders to pursue cooperation instead of confrontation with the new presidential administration. If we pursue confrontation, it could put vulnerable Californians at risk. I am nevertheless encouraged that the governor is willing to work with the president on repairing and upgrading the state’s transportation infrastructure that is essential to California’s prosperity.
“However, the governor did not address some of the major challenges that the state faces from within. These challenges include an uneven economy that benefits too few Californians, growing pension liabilities and a cost-of-living that is significantly above the national average. I hope that with the prior passage of a Rainy Day Fund and a water bond, Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress this year.”
Senator Janet Nguyen (R-SD34): “I’m pleased the Governor expressed an interest in bipartisanship this year; a recognition that all Californians have a place at the table. I hope that both parties and the Governor’s office can work together to implement any Federal health care changes that may come our way while ensuring that coverage is affordable and accessible for all. While there was little focus on the economy, the Governor and the Legislature should heed the warning signs of slowing budget revenues. In preparation for these revenue changes, we should grow our rainy day fund, pay down the more than $240 billion in debt and sustain programs that are important to Californians. I am eager to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to move an agenda forward that benefits all of California.”
Senator John Moorlach (R-SD35): “November 8th was an amazing inflection point in US history. The nation said we need a Republican in the White House. They also thought that we needed Republicans running the Senate and the House, as well as many of the nation’s statehouses. If you look at the balance sheets of all 50 states, and rank them from healthy to near insolvency, the bottom seven, which includes California, have Democratic leadership.
“One of these seven states is Kentucky. And, on November 8th, they decided that maybe they ought to have a Republican Governor, a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives for the first time in 95 years! So, this nation is waking up to the devastating impacts of Democratic policies that are pushing many states into bankruptcy and are demanding that it has to stop.
“Governor Brown gave a defiant, play-to-the-crowd speech, but he still does not understand the fundamental change that’s happening in this nation and in so many other states. He’s on the wrong side and his ‘alternative facts’ about the health of our economy need to be rectified. California’s balance sheet must be fixed – this is priority number one; not antagonizing the new President. When you upset the leader of this nation, you better prepare for push back. It will negatively affect every Californian; and that is poor leadership.”
Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-AD72): “In today’s State of the State address, Governor Brown proudly pointed to a list of accomplishments that are, in reality, a litany of failures:
- Increased spending on California’s public school system – but with little to show for it. California’s public education remains one of the worst in the nation, especially for the poor.
- Adding 5 million Californians to Covered California/Obamacare and Medicaid expansion – which is 95% funded by the federal government. When Obamacare is predictably repealed, Brown’s health care house of cards will collapse and leave the state budget devastated.
- Reduced prison populations – achieved by “re-aligning” state prisoners into county jails, or simply releasing them back into our communities. The result: increasing crime rates across California.
- World leader in climate change regulations – which has resulted in no change to the climate, but Californians are now stuck paying the highest gas taxes in the nation.
- Passing a water bond – yet trillions of gallons of recent rain water has flowed back into the ocean because no water storage has been built since the bond’s approval.
- Building up a Rainy Day Fund – which at only $8 billion, is more like a Drizzly Day Fund. Earlier this month, the Governor said a recession would cause a budget hit of $54 Billion over three years.
- Closing a budget deficit of $27 billion – achieved by making Californians pay the highest taxes in the nation; and the state budget is already back in deficit territory.
- Reduced unemployment from 12.1% to 5.3% – which ranks California as the 11th worst in the nation, with the highest welfare recipient rate and the highest poverty rate when factoring in the cost of living.
“Although Governor Brown blasted the use of “alternative facts”, his glowing review of the State was overflowing with blatant misrepresentations.
“The truth is that California is in real danger. The liberal agenda pursued for years by Governor Brown and the Democrat Legislature have placed our state in real jeopardy, from the Covered Care house of cards to the dangerous policy of sanctuary cities to the explosion of our welfare state.
“Despite Jerry Brown’s tough talk and alternative facts, California is now in the worst shape it’s been in decades and now just upped the ante in a political war with the White House that California’s citizens can ill afford.”
Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-AD68): “Governor Brown chose to criticize a federal government of which he has no control, while failing to address the massive California pension obligations, which left unfunded, will inevitably punish the working families that the Governor seeks to protect.
“The Governor spoke about bipartisan solutions. I challenge the majority party to work with Republicans to craft common-sense reforms to fix California’s broken public pension system.”
Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-AD73): “If we continue to increase government spending and ignore our state’s multibillion dollar pension debt, there is no rainy day fund large enough to rescue our state from future spiraling deficits. This state budget continues to spend at record numbers while failing to address our transportation infrastructure, job creation, and potential Obamacare reform from our federal government.
As Governor Brown expressed for us to work in a bi-partisan fashion this year, I hope we can do the same with our federal government. As our state continues to rely heavily on federal funding, we should be looking at opportunities to work with our federal government not against them. We need collaboration not confrontation.”
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-AD65): “The Governor and Assembly Democrats are working from the same script. Following Governor Jerry Brown’s annual State of the State address to a joint session of the State Legislature, Assemblywoman Quirk Silva said, “The Governor ended his address with ‘This land is your land… made for you and me’ and as a former classroom teacher it really means a lot that he sees California as a state that is going to lead as an example for our country.”