In an era of political uncertainty, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address sees California as a model for the nation
By the time his brief but blustery State of the State speech ended on Tuesday, it was clear that Gov. Jerry Brown had offered his most sweeping rebuke to date of President Trump and the new leadership of Congress.
But the critique circled back to the same conclusion Brown has reached several times since returning to the governor’s office — that what most ails the nation is that it’s not enough like California.
“When we defend California, we defend America,” the governor said to applause from lawmakers at the state Capitol. “We must prepare for uncertain times and reaffirm the basic principles that have made California the great exception that it is.”
Brown’s Sacramento speech was delivered just four days after Trump’s fiery inaugural manifesto, a quirk of timing that might have convinced him to liven up what in recent years has mostly been a no-frills homily in praise of cautious governing.
The governor said that recent events had made it hard “to keep my thoughts just on California.” It was the first such admission from Brown, who has largely avoided the political or policy lines in the sand drawn by the state’s other Democratic leaders in the wake of Trump’s victory.
No part of Tuesday’s speech was more forceful than when the governor promised to protect those who live in California without legal U.S. residency. He admitted that “federal law is supreme” when it comes to immigration, but bragged about California policies that take a blind eye to immigration status when offering access to higher education, employment rights and driver’s licenses.
“We may be called upon to defend those laws, and defend them we will,” said the governor, his voice rising and his right index finger pushing downward for emphasis.
“And let me be clear: We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state,” he said.
Brown also gave a mention to healthcare, as national efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act stand to jeopardize more than $16 billion in federal subsidies and affect millions of Californians enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program.
“Whatever they do in Washington, they can’t change the facts,” Brown said. “And these are the facts: The climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans.”
But for all of his swagger in pledging to fight the Trump administration, the veteran politician admitted there is opportunity for collaboration when it comes to the president’s pledge to commit as much as $1 trillion to expanding and repairing the nation’s roads and railways
“And I say, ‘Amen to that, man. Amen to that, brother.’ We’re there with you!” the governor shouted in a bit of improvisation during the prepared speech. - Read More, latimes