Brown: State of the State is fiscal restraint

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

With a cautiously optimistic tone, Gov. Jerry Brown preached prudence on Thursday morning during his annual State of the State address.

The speech — courteous in its brevity, clocking in at under 20 minutes — touted accomplishments and initiatives, like a budget surplus, several credit upgrades, a rainy-day fund, increased education spending and a raise in the minimum wage. However, it was most notable for its call to pay down existing obligations before creating new ones.

“The challenge is to solve today’s problems without making those of tomorrow even worse,” Brown told a packed Assembly floor, arguing the need for preparedness for life’s uncertainty. “In that spirit, you are not going to hear me talk today about new programs. Rather, I am going to focus on how we pay for the commitments we have already made.”

On the budget — Brown released his version earlier this month — the popular Democratic governor said that state economists predict that the next recession, if only of average intensity, “would cut our revenues by $55 billion over three years.”

“That is why it is imperative to build up the rainy-day fund, which was recently overwhelmingly approved by the voters, and invest our temporary surpluses in badly needed infrastructure or in other ways that will not lock in future spending,” Brown said.

Brown’s budget had revenue exceeding expectations by $3.6 billion, with most of the money being tucked into the rainy-day fund, according the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

While all the talk of fiscal restraint is likely to appease some concerns from the right, there was plenty to like for those on the left. On inequality, Brown touted a raise in the minimum wage, an Earned Income Tax Credit, paid sick leave and other traditionally Democratic priorities, including expanded access to health care under the Affordable Care Act.

“Most importantly – and this is truly monumental – we have wholeheartedly embraced the Affordable Care Act,” Brown said. “This is an historic achievement. It will provide health security to so many who could not otherwise afford it.”

Brown asked that legislators consider the revised managed care organization tax, a greater explanation of which can be found here on the California Chamber of Commerce website.

Brown applauded the 51 percent increase in education spending since 2011 and spoke of the need for increased funding for roads. He touted the Paris climate agreement and the Prop. 1 water bond, noting the bond’s passage as one of the “bright spots in our contentious politics.”

The transcript can be found here.

The proposed budget can be found here.

The LAO’s analysis of the budget can be found here.


Write a comment
  1. Dude
    Dude 21 January, 2016, 12:19

    “In that spirit, you are not going to hear me talk today about new programs. Rather, I am going to focus on how we pay for the commitments we have already made.”
    When did Moonbeam become a Republican?

    Reply this comment
    • JPR11
      JPR11 21 January, 2016, 17:03

      Wait until you get your ballot, with 6 new taxes proposals. This state is the ultimate in tax and spend. It’s like a marry go round. This year it’s education, next year health care, then welfare, then back around again. The state’s revenue is at it’s highest ever yet the liberals find new ways to spend it. CA is no longer the Golden state but the Welfare state. How about a tax reduction??

      Reply this comment
  2. Flowing Waters
    Flowing Waters 21 January, 2016, 12:34

    Water is the most important issue we face. Supplying cases of polluting plastic bottles of water to Central Valley communities in need is not the answer. Investment in public water system infrastructure must be a priority. It is simple: Purity or Pollution~ we must protect the Headwaters of the Sacramento River, the Northern CA and Sierra Nevada “areas of source” first and foremost. They feed many of the basins now addressed in the SGMA. Time to stop fracking, water bottling and Big Ag’s beef and dairy industries with alfalfa as feed and for export to Asia. If the public is educated this will not be a battle between fruit, nut and vegetable farmers and environmentalists. Awaken and vote with your pocketbook!!

    Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 21 January, 2016, 12:45


    Reply this comment
  4. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 21 January, 2016, 13:11

    The Governor’s concern for fiscal responsibility might be admirable if he’d drop that High Speed Rail stuff.

    Reply this comment
  5. Terry
    Terry 21 January, 2016, 13:28

    What about the elephant in the room that moonbeam, demorats and RINO’s never talk about is the underfunded state retirement fund? Add that and we are in deep trouble. Certainly no money for a train to nowhere. Boondoggle all the way. Thank God the billions for water tunnels have been ruled out. Some sanity for once.

    Reply this comment
    • ted
      ted 21 January, 2016, 14:59

      It’s about 70% funded— very little issue here despite the fanatical right yapping all the time—-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      slave trolls– post now hurry!

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 21 January, 2016, 21:27

        “It’s about 70% funded— very little issue here despite the fanatical right yapping all the time…”
        Thank you Mr. Math!
        CalTURDS is 73% funded. It was 78% 2 years ago. Anything below 60 is a point of no return, the death spiral. It should be over 100% funded right now (about 125%-135%) at the END of the biggest BULL MARKET in US history. CalTURDS has a 7.5% discount rate, and half way through this fiscal year the ROI is 2.4%. Mr. Math has arrived, and is going to give out FREE pension haircuts …very soon. You’re first Teddy Trough Feeder 🙂 !

        Reply this comment
      • Kris Hunt
        Kris Hunt 22 January, 2016, 04:14

        At this point in the extremely long bull market (which has now come to an end), CalPERS and CalSTRS should actually be at over 100% in anticipation of the next recession. The normal business cycle is about 5 years long. It always happens. It is only the economically uninformed who would think that a pension fund should not be in better shape.

        Reply this comment
    • Ron
      Ron 21 January, 2016, 21:32

      I wish you knew what you were talking about.

      Reply this comment
  6. dc1
    dc1 21 January, 2016, 16:16

    If he really believed in fiscal restraint, this wouldn’t be a record spending budget by far. Also, if he believed in fiscal restraint he wouldn’t be calling for yet another massive tax/fee increase.

    Reply this comment
  7. Truthafuss
    Truthafuss 22 January, 2016, 02:31

    Did Brown take LSD before this speech?

    Reply this comment
  8. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 22 January, 2016, 16:51

    Moonbeam must have sniffed glue one time in his life

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Gov. Brown OKs higher smoking age

  Upsetting years of tradition and new trends alike, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law sweeping new measures that put

Billionaire Texas Democrat seeks to reform CA pensions

June 26, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi California’s pension problems are so massive that any help should be welcomed, even from

Wastrel Cities Prove Brown's Plan Is Right

JAN. 21, 2011 By STEVEN GREENHUT California cities like to depict themselves as the victims of a bad economy and