in the KNOW

January 24, 2017

Gov. Brown Defends California’s Policies During State of the State Address

Photo of Gov. Brown courtesy of the Associated Press

Photo of Gov. Brown courtesy of the Associated Press

Citing an uncertain future where dangers abound, Governor Jerry Brown gave his annual State of the State address before the Legislature today defending California’s actions on climate change, the protection of immigrants, and safeguarding health care while acknowledging the divisions in the United States and also touting his accomplishments.

Just prior to delivering his speech, Brown swore-in Xavier Becerra as California’s new attorney general and linked the appointment to his support of immigrants. Brown said, “Like so many others, he is the son of immigrants who saw California as a place where, through grit and determination, they could realize their dreams. And they are not alone, millions of Californians have come here from Mexico and a hundred other countries, making our state what it is today: vibrant, even turbulent, and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.”

In a departure front past speeches often consumed by the state budget, Brown emphasized his successful efforts over the years and focused on his policy priorities under a Trump Administration.

Brown said he was “amazed to see how much we have accomplished together” during his time in office. He highlighted the following areas as achievements: health insurance for more Californians, funding for public schools and universities, raising the minimum wage, fighting climate change, passage of a water bond, building the rainy day fund and closing a deficit.

Brown also touted his jobs record stating, “California has reduced the unemployment rate from 12.1 percent to 5.2 percent and created almost 2.5 million jobs.”

Referencing the Trump Administration, Brown said, “While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing. We have seen the bald assertion of ‘alternative facts.’ We have heard the blatant attacks on science. Familiar signposts of our democracy – truth, civility, working together – have been obscured or swept aside.”

On climate change, Brown said, “Whatever they do in Washington, they can’t change the facts. And these are the facts: the climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Natural habitats everywhere are under increasing stress. The world knows this.”

The governor views transportation as an area in which California can work with President Donald Trump. Brown said, “We can all work together – here in Sacramento and in Washington as well. We have roads and tunnels and railroads and even a dam that the President could help us with. And that will create good-paying American jobs.”

Brown encouraged legislators to work together stating, “Democrats are in the majority, but Republicans represent real Californians too.” In past efforts, “We went beyond party when we reformed workers’ compensation, when we created a rainy day fund and when we passed the water bond.”

“Thank you for all that energy and enthusiasm. It is just what we need for the battle ahead. So keep it up and don’t ever falter,” Brown concluded.

To read Brown’s full speech, click HERE.