SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KFSN) --In his State of the State Address Governor Jerry Brown was both optimistic, and cautious. He beamed about the state's achievements but said we must be mindful of an uncertain future.
Noting that economic and political troubles around the world can have a direct impact on California's economy the governor talked a lot about getting ready for that inevitable "rainy day." "In that spirit you are not going to hear me talk today about new programs, rather, I am going to focus on how we pay for the commitments we have already made," said Governor Brown.
Governor Brown said the key was saving more of the surplus we now have.
Republican Assembly Member Jim Patterson of Fresno said the governor was not being as frugal as he sounded. "This is a fake austerity, this is happy talk that says we are spending less and saving and that's just not the case-- we are spending a whole lot more and putting a little bit into a savings account."
The Governor did say higher taxes would be needed to pay for roads and highways. "We have to bite the bullet and enact new fees and taxes for this purpose."
Republican Assembly Member Frank Bigelow from Madera County was encouraged with the Governors talk about fixing roads but disagreed new taxes are the way to pay for it. "The state had a $10-billion surpluses, unanticipated revenue, it's not time to talk about new taxes. We need to talk about where the money should be going, bringing transportation dollars back to transportation."
Assembly Member Rudy Salas, who represents Kings and Kern Counties, was pleased the Governor talked about improving the state's water system. "One of the things I was really excited that the governor mentioned was the California water action plan and the need to build more dams and recharge our aquifer."
The Governors speech lasts just 19 minutes but covered a lot of ground. He noted the drop in the unemployment rate, the growing state reserve, but emphasized the growing costs of health care, education, and pension costs would remain major challenges ahead.