Elected officials and organizations from across the state offer praise and criticism of Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State speech.
Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)
“Today, Governor Brown spoke about many of the topics I believe must be addressed this year: the need for a water bond, increased investment in education and repaying our debt.
Especially during this drought emergency, we must invest in California’s water system infrastructure. I am pleased that the Governor is going to work this year on helping get water where it is needed most. As we face the driest year in our state’s history, water is my top concern and I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature on the water bond. More storage and greater access to clean water must be a priority."
Gov. Brown is right, life is uncertain. This is why we need more storage so we are better prepared for drought and build a rainy day fund!— Anthony Cannella (@AnthonyCannella) January 22, 2014
Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno)
“It’s clear Governor Brown has made water a priority, and should be applauded for his emphasis on the need for water storage and providing clean drinking water to disadvantaged communities, both critical to California and the Central Valley. The drought brings to light the importance of investing in California’s water infrastructure. Going forward the legislature and all Californians must prioritize access to clean and reliable water.”
“[Governor Brown] missed a vital opportunity to call for a moratorium on one of the biggest threats to California’s water security: fracking. So-called advanced oil extraction techniques, fracking and well stimulation, pollute millions of gallons of water with harsh, toxic chemicals, leaving the water unusable. Our limited fresh water should be reserved for supporting agriculture, quenching the thirst of city dwellers and providing flows for endangered fish and wildlife."
- Kathryn Phillips, director, Sierra Club California
Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R- O'Neals)
“Restoring the economy of rural California must also be an important focus. As the state’s economy improves as a whole, there are still many hard-working people in the foothills that are struggling. Their plight has only been made worse by our current drought conditions, which has hurt families, farmers and small business owners alike. I am hopeful that the Legislature can come together this year around realistic solutions to end our water crisis and pro-jobs reforms to bring jobs back to my district and all of rural California.”
Assemblymember and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue
“Water needs to be our top priority this year. We are looking at potentially the driest winter in 500 years. Reservoirs are drying up, farmers are losing their crops, and it’s just getting worse. Our economy is reliant on an adequate and healthy water supply. We need to work with Governor Brown to find long-term solutions to ensure proper allocation and usage of water throughout the state.”
Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (Rep-Modesto)
“The Governor’s message of fiscal prudence would be inspiring, if not for his persistence of High Speed Rail and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, (i.e. Delta tunnels). It is irresponsible to continue wasting taxpayer dollars on projects like High Speed Rail that have no viable business plan and no connection to real needs in the San Joaquin Valley.
The Governor should instead prioritize more immediate issues that have state-wide relevance, such as water storage. The most responsible and cost-effective solution to the state’s water crisis is to ensure we have the means to capture and reserve water in wet years to prepare for dry years. Our economy, agriculture and northern and southern communities cannot thrive without a reliable water plan now and in the future.”
Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles)
“The Governor gave a very clear discussion about where we are as a state, the amazing transformation that’s happened over the last few years, moving from a place of fiscal instability and $60-billion structural debt to a place where we actually have a multi-billion dollar reserve. But the Governor reinforced the importance for thoughtful movement forward. The need for us to pay down long term debt and the need for us to build a sustainable rainy day fund that we’d put before the voter. I’m very happy to hear this…this notion that my colleagues and I in the Assembly offered up last year. The Governor’s embraced it and included it in his budget proposal, included it in his discussions today and I think that argues well for the future of the state where we can move from the boom and bust to ongoing stability.”
Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento)
"The Governor’s speech was rightly optimistic about California’s future, while prudently considering the challenges we still face. The encouraging increase in jobs, budget surplus, affordable healthcare for all, education reforms, and positive outcomes of public safety realignment are something to celebrate. California is back."
Sentator Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
“I applaud the Governor’s message that California must remain on a path of fiscal discipline, and share his desire to continue to pay down our state debt and build our state surplus. I also share the Governor’s concern regarding the drought and the importance of taking immediate steps as well as investing in long-term strategies to better manage future droughts, which may be more frequent as a result of climate change. There are a number of noncontroversial actions and ready-to-go projects we can implement now, including wastewater recycling, groundwater storage, regional and local water supply development; delta ecosystem restoration and stronger levees to improve water delivery. Of course, the simplest and most immediate part of the solution is for all Californians to improve our own water conservation practices, as well as making the investments in the most efficient technologies for both urban and agricultural users.”
Listen to the full audio of Gov. Jerry Brown's speech here:
The official portrait of Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been unveiled and historian says Schwarzenegger’s image reflects the changing nature of gubernatorial portraits.
UPDATED: Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari debated Thursday night. Watch a replay here, or listen to a reply at 9 a.m. Friday on the News Station, in place of Insight.
California’s earthquake early warning system is up and running – but there’s no money or infrastructure to distribute alerts to the general public yet. A conference at UC Berkeley Wednesday discussed the issue.
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.