Gov. Brown’s State of the State address today earned high marks in general from state lawmakers.
Brown’s annual speech touched on a variety of topics from education to jobs to environmental regulations.
In an address many are calling optimistic and upbeat, Brown called for no new increases to college tuition. He also emphasized the importance of local school board control for kindergarten-through-12th-grade education.
The governor also urged the state Legislature to support his push to cut categorical programs and support his Local Control Funding Formula, which would shift supplemental money to districts with higher rates of poverty or English language learners.
“This formula recognizes the fact that a child in a family making $20,000 a year or speaking a language different from English or living in a foster home requires more help,” he said. “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.”
On jobs, he called for changes in economic programs such as the Enterprise Zone Program and the Jobs Hiring Credit. He also suggested changes to regulations.
“We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act,” he said. “Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.”
Brown spoke of the state’s strong ties to China and plans to further boost that this year.
“In April, I will lead a trade and investment mission to China with help from the Bay Area Council and officially open California’s new trade and investment office in Shanghai,” he said.
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, lauded the governor’s speech overall and made some suggestions for remedies to California’s education and job woes, among others.
“We share the Governor’s optimism and celebration of California’s entrepreneurial spirit, business community and educators,” Huff said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the Governor’s acknowledgement that we need to pay down debt, develop a rainy day fund, and avoid saddling our college students with more tuition increases."
He said the governor did not give any “substantive proposals” for how to create jobs or aid the state’s working class.
Senate Republicans are calling on the passage of the following bills:
- Passage of legislation (SB 58 and AB 67) by Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) that honors the commitment made to all Californians by the Governor to ensure that monies from Proposition 30 would go to students and put a freeze on tuition, while the Proposition 30 tax increase is in effect.
- Passage of legislation proposed last year by Senator Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) relative to much needed reforms of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
- A clear commitment to place ACA 4 on the next statewide ballot in order to provide for a rainy day fund.
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina), also weighed in on the governor’s speech.
Hernandez, whose district includes the City of Industry, serves as the chair of the Committee of Labor and Employment.
“I share in Governor Brown's optimism and terrific potential to
continue California's recovery,” he said in a statement. “I commend his leadership and dedication in continuing to address the State's concerns relating to Water infrastructure, the High Speed rail and the need for California to continue to be a leader and innovator for Environmental Protections
and Green Jobs creation.”