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Live Blog: Gov. Brown Touts Economic Progress, Calls For 'Careful Balance'

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, embrace after he was sworn-in for the fourth time. The Gust family bible was used in the ceremony.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Listen to live, special coverage of the Inaugural and State of the State address at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, with a rebroadcast at 9 p.m.


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.

-Ben Adler

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.

-Katie Orr

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.

-Katie Orr

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

10:44 a.m. - Highlights From Address

10:30 a.m. - Full Text Of State Of The State Address

Governor Brown Sworn in, Delivers Inaugural Address by Capital Public Radio

10:27 a.m. - Gov. Brown Takes Oath Of Office

 

10:25 a.m. - Event Begins

 

 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.

010515-assembly-prepares-fullLawmakers and guests begin gathering in the Califorinia Assembly Chambers Monday morning. 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.

1975 Brown Inauguration P

This was the inauguration scene in California State Capitol at Sacramento, Jan. 6, 1975 as Gov Jerry Brown Jr., was sworn into office at 10:13 a.m. This is the Assembly chamber where joint session of the Legislature was convened for the ceremonies. Former Gov. Edmund G. Brown, the 32nd Governor and his family are seated in the foreground balcony. File / AP

1975 Jerry Brown Inauguration P

California Chief Justice Donald Wright (left) swearing in Brown as Governor of California on January 6, 1975.  Wikipedia / Sacramento Bee

2011 Brown inauguration-AP P.jpg

Jerry Brown, left, is sworn-in as the 39th Governor of California as Anne Gust Brown looks on during ceremonies in Sacramento, Calif. Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. Rich Pedroncelli / AP