Jan. 6, 5 A.M. - Brown Takes A Rosy Look Back, Cautious Look Ahead
A rosy look back at California’s last four years and a cautious look ahead to the next four. That’s the tone Governor Brown struck after being sworn in for a record fourth term as California governor Monday.
Jerry Brown spent more than half of his fourth inaugural address looking not forwards but backwards.
"While we’ve not reached the Promised Land, we have much to be proud of," Brown said.
He touted the state’s balanced budget and sweeping changes from the last four years: a new school funding formula, the expansion of Medi-Cal, and an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system.
"More precariously than I would like – but balanced," said Brown. "The financial promises we have already made must be confronted honestly so that they are properly funded. The health of our state depends on it."
To that end, Brown kept his new proposals to a minimum: more money for road and highway projects; new goals to reduce carbon emissions; and asking state workers to help pre-pay for their retirement health care benefits.
4:45 p.m. - Lawmakers React To Brown's Call For $59 Billion Toward Infrastructure
Governor Jerry Brown is calling on the legislature to take up the problem of California’s failing infrastructure. In his inaugural address Monday, Brown said the state has accumulated $59 billion in needed infrastructure upkeep and maintenance.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says she wants to work with Brown, but hasn’t heard a specific plan yet.
"I don’t know if there’s an appetite in the legislature to do a bond or a fee," says Atkins. "But I will say this, I would love to work on this issue because infrastructure is something California really needs to take a look at."
Republican Senator Ted Gaines says he was encouraged to hear Brown mention it.
“I’m hoping we can work on a bi-partisan basis on infrastructure," says Brown. "It’s so important to the vitality of our economy, and just safety, people being mobile and getting from one point to another."
In his speech, Brown referred to bi-partisan agreements on a water bond and a rainy day fund as possible models for dealing with the crumbling infrastructure.
4:30 p.m. - Brown Addresses Education, Prisons, High Speed Rail
In his inaugural address, Governor Jerry Brown touched on some themes that could bring the California legislature together. But there were also signs of partisan divide.
Brown’s wide-ranging speech hit on everything from schools, to prisons to pensions. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says it will set the tone for the year.
"I think a lot of what the governor had to say really tells us where we are and sets the foundation," says Atkins. "To have paid off the debt that we have paid off, to focus on the Affordable Care Act, pensions, infrastructure are the things we’re going to be grappling with this year."
Atkins says some new spending is needed. But she agrees it must be done in a careful way.
Assembly minority leader Kristin Olsen says her caucus is ready to support policies that will improve California’s fiscal health. But she says she is disappointed Brown is still backing projects like High Speed Rail.
"Californians need good jobs and great schools," says Olsen. "And in the meantime he’s focused on policies that aren’t delivering on those needs."
Education also got a mention in Brown’s inaugural address. Brown stressed the importance of making sure California’s new school funding formula works. The message was welcomed by Democratic Senator and school teacher Tony Mendoza.
"I think over the years you hear a lot of attacks on public education," says Mendoza. "Well, you know, public education isn’t going anywhere, so let’s make it work for everybody. And I think that’s what he’s envisioning, which is great."
Brown got a mixed reaction to his suggestion that California’s colleges and universities make better use of their money. Democratic Senator Mark Leno is among those lawmakers who believe the state needs to spend more on higher education.
“We are currently at historic lows of General Fund investment in our colleges and universities," says Leno. "I and my colleagues believe that has to change. That’s where the debate begins."
Brown has said he will not increase funding if state universities increase their tuition.
1:50 p.m. - Brown Touts Economic Progress
Jerry Brown is now the only fourth-term governor in California history. He took the oath of office Monday morning in a packed Assembly chamber at the state Capitol. Brown struck an optimistic tone in his inaugural address – yet still called for caution.
After taking the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Brown took credit for California’s progress during his last four years as governor and called for a careful balance in his final four years.
“In 2011, we were handed a mess and through solid, steady work, we turned it around...With big and important new programs now launched and the budget carefully balanced, the challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it.” - Gov. Jerry Brown
Among Brown’s few new proposals: stronger goals to combat climate change, more money for road and highway projects, and a call for state employees to start pre-paying their retiree health care benefits.
- Ben Adler
12:08 p.m. - Reporters Annotate State Of The State Address
Reporters from Capital Public Radio, KQED and KPCC took a closer look at the governor's speech. Click on the highlighted parts below to read their analysis.
11:40 a.m. - Listen To The State Of The State Address
11:25 a.m. - Brown Says Students Shouldn't Bear Entire Burden
California Governor Jerry Brown addressed the cost of education, pensions and retiree health care in his State of the State Address today. The Governor was sworn for an unprecedented fourth term. He says California is blessed with a rich and diverse university system, but students should not bear the entire burden of paying for college.
“While excellence is their business, affordability and timely completion is their imperative. As I’ve said before, I will not make the students of California the default financiers of our colleges and universities.” - Gov. Jerry Brown
Brown also called for state employees to help start pre-funding retiree health obligations. The unfunded liability of providing health and dental benefits to state employees is now $71 billion.
- Amy Quinton
10:52 a.m. - More Address Highlights
.@JerryBrownGov's 3 climate change goals over 15yrs: More renewably-sourced electricity; less petroleum in cars; more energy efficient bldgs— Ben Adler (@adlerben) January 5, 2015
California is forging agreements with other states and nations so that we do not stand alone in advancing these climate objectives. #CASOTS— CapRadio News (@CapRadioNews) January 5, 2015
Edward O. Wilson “we are needlessly turning the gold we inherited from our forebears into straw, ...” #CASOTS— CapRadio News (@CapRadioNews) January 5, 2015
10:44 a.m. - Highlights From Address
10:30 a.m. - Full Text Of State Of The State Address
10:27 a.m. - Gov. Brown Takes Oath Of Office
4 yrs ago, @JerryBrownGov stammered during phrase "without any mental reservation" - today, he recites it seamlessly— Ben Adler (@adlerben) January 5, 2015
.@JerryBrownGov takes oath of office for his record 4th term as governor of California— Ben Adler (@adlerben) January 5, 2015
10:25 a.m. - Event Begins
Say first thing that struck her about @JerryBrownGov was his mind. Says stimulating but jokes it's exhausting.— Katie Orr (@1KatieOrr) January 5, 2015
Anne Gust Brown about to speak. Gets standing ovation from crowd. Introducing her husband @JerryBrownGov— Katie Orr (@1KatieOrr) January 5, 2015
9:50 a.m. Watch The Inaugural And Address
CalChannel.com has a live webcast of today's events. It's best viewed from a desktop computer.
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
7:45 a.m. Ben Adler talks with Steve Milne about what to expect from today's State of the State address.
7:00 a.m. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler previews the Inauguration and State of the State on News 10.