Gov. Jerry Brown will deliver his record 14th State of the State address Thursday as California braces for a pivotal election year.
It’s anyone’s guess what he'll say in his speech. But chances are he’ll strike the same theme he struck in his last three State of the States:
“Let’s follow the wisdom of Joseph, pay down our debts and store up reserves against the leaner times that will surely follow,” Brown said in January 2013.
“Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our democracy but its fundamental predicate,” the governor said in January 2014.
“We must build on rock, not sand, so that when the storms come, our house stands,” he said in January 2015 in a speech that doubled as his Inaugural Address.
After California voters approved Brown's sales and income tax increases in 2012, the extra tax revenue, along with deep spending cuts and California’s economic recovery, helped turn the state budget from red to black. And a recent Field Poll pegs the governor's approval rating at 56 percent.
Brown himself isn’t on the ballot this election year, but most state lawmakers are. So the governor will have to convince the Legislature to work with him on some tricky issues, like finding new money sources for road repairs and the state’s health care system.