Governor Brown’s 2016 State of the State Address

Blink and you missed it, Governor Brown finished his latest State of the State in under 20 minutes.

Thoughts on that quip about a ballot initiative going for a fifth term?

Brown touched on eight distinct issues and had several overarching themes to this address. A big one of those themes mirrored his recent budget proposal, tackling existing commitments and liabilities while limiting the undertaking of new projects.

His talk on the budget pumped up the growth of the Rainy Day Fund as a means to “minimize the zigzag of spend-cut-spend that this tax system inevitably produces…”

Continuing on to talk about inequality, Brown pointed out the statewide minimum wage increase that just kicked in as well as other programs that make billions of dollars available to low income residents.

Addressing an elephant in the room, and reflected in his budget, was the long term road map to breaking even on the state’s retirement liabilities. Brown called for steady allocations to chip away at the obligations.

Infrastructure immediately followed with Brown echoing similar sentiment, that we must address these realities now and get back out in front of them.

Water and Climate Change rounded out the topical material, the Governor trumpeted the cooperation that led to the passage of Proposition 1, the Water Bond. That, along with the California Water Action Plan, established a solid program to effectively manage the state’s water, Brown said. Regarding climate change, Brown noted California’s prominent role at the recent UN meeting in Paris as sign of the state’s leadership on the climate issue. With the recent passage of SB 350, Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, that leadership should continue.

Closing the address with a comparison of where the state was in 2011, Brown called attention to today’s balanced budgets, higher credit ratings, $26 billion of debt paid down, the Rainy Day Fund, as well as increases in education funding, people covered by Medi-Cal, minimum wages, and new jobs.

You can view the entirety of the State of the State below: