Jerry Brown in 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Follow advice from Book of Genesis: out away some surplus

While we know our revenues will fluctuate up and down, our long-term liabilities are enormous and ever growing. We also must account for future risks that could negatively affect our budgets like congressional decisions and natural disasters.

So we can't go back to "business as usual." Boom and bust is our lot and we must follow the ancient advice, recounted in the Book of Genesis, that Joseph gave to the Pharaoh: Put away your surplus during the years of great plenty so you will be ready for the lean years which are sure to follow.

Most governors and legislatures--in modern times--have forgotten this advice. This time we won't do that. We will pay down our debts and remember the lessons of history.

Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our democracy but its fundamental predicate. To avoid the mistakes of the past we must spend with great prudence and we must establish a solid rainy day fund, locked into the Constitution.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to California legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Crime: Major reductions in our prison population

In the field of public safety, we have changed historic practices in our prison system and transferred significant responsibilities to local authorities. The Federal courts, backed up by the United States Supreme Court, have ordered major reductions in our prison population and dramatic improvements in the medical and mental health programs that the state makes available. In response, we have transferred the supervision of tens of thousands of lower level offenders from the state to our 58 counties. This realignment is bold and far reaching, but necessary under the circumstances. And local law enforcement has risen to the occasion.

Our prisons are pioneering new programs and treatments--and so are the counties. Last week, I visited the Lerdo Jail just north of Bakersfield and sat in on some classes. It was moving to hear the men's stories and the struggles they encounter.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to California legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Local Issues: Local Control Funding Formula: breakthrough in subsidiarity

Last year, I spoke of the principle of subsidiarity, a rather clunky word that nevertheless points to a profoundly important principle, namely that in our federal system there are separate layers of government, each with its own distinct responsibilities No better example of this can be found than in your enactment last year of the Local Control Funding Formula. This was a major breakthrough in the way funds are allocated to California's schools so that our laws explicitly recognize the difficult problem faced by low-income families and those whose first language is other than English. As a result, those with less are going to receive more and that is good for all of us.

But something else is at work in this Local Control Funding Formula. Instead of prescriptive commands issued from here in Sacramento, more general goals have been established for each local school to attain, each in its own way. This puts the responsibility where it has to be: In the classroom and at the local district.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to California legislature Jan 22, 2014

The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014