Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Monday was sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term and combined his inaugural address with his annual State of the State speech.
In a review of accomplishments from his previous term, the Governor highlighted the bipartisan support for and voter approval of Proposition 1, the bond measure to fund water infrastructure, and Proposition 2, establishing the rainy day fund.
He also noted that local schools have received substantial increased support and touted the new system of school funding, the Local Control Funding Formula, which allows more funding decisions to be made at the local level.
Turning to his vision for his upcoming term, the Governor highlighted two major priorities: infrastructure funding and the next phase of climate change policy.
On infrastructure funding— including water delivery infrastructure and the need to improve roads, highways and bridges—the Governor recognized that there are inadequate resources for upkeep and maintenance of the latter.
He estimated that the state has deferred maintenance and upkeep needs of $59 billion. “Each year, we fall further and further behind,” he warned, “and we must do something about it.”
The Governor spent a significant amount of time talking about the need to reduce carbon and announced three ambitious goals to be accomplished in the next 15 years:
• Increase from one-third to 50% electricity derived from renewable sources.
• Reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50%.
• Double the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.
He voiced one caveat: that in working toward these goals, California “must demonstrate that reducing carbon is compatible with an abundant economy and human well-being.”
Governor Brown’s other priority for his final term is fiscal responsibility for the state budget, which was scheduled to be announced on Friday, after Alert went to print.
The California Chamber of Commerce will provide a recap of the Governor’s proposal via the web and the new version of the CalChamber Alert app. To receive the update, download Version 2.0 at www.calchamber.com/mobile. Due to the app’s move to a new publishing platform, even users who previously downloaded the app will need to download it again.