Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Brown: Calif. comes back but challenged by drought

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown cautioned lawmakers that even though there is a budget surplus, they should not overspend as he delivers his annual State of the State speech before a joint session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Brown delivered a dual message in his annual address to the Legislature, that a California resurgence is well underway but is threatened by economic and environmental uncertainties.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By
From page A1 | January 23, 2014 | 1 Comment

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday delivered dual messages in his annual address to the Legislature: California’s resurgence is well underway but is threatened by economic and environmental uncertainties.

Chief among those uncertainties is that the severe drought gripping the nation’s most populous state and already forcing water cutbacks among farms and cities eventually could exact a financial toll on the state’s improving finances.

In the State of the State address, Brown said it was not clear what role heat-trapping gases have played in creating three years of dry weather, but he said the excessively dry conditions should serve “as a stark warning of things to come.”

“This means more droughts and more extreme weather events, and, in California, more forest fires and less snow pack,” he said, a week after declaring an official drought.

He urged conservation among the state’s 38 million residents and said water recycling, expanded storage and better management of groundwater supplies will be needed. The state’s budget reserves will be tested if the wildfire season explodes and communities run short of water and need emergency help.

Some relief could come from an $11.1 billion water bond scheduled to go before voters in November, but the measure is filled with problems, including the price tag. Lawmakers have delayed it twice and are considering major changes, including lowering the price.

The current version has been criticized for including too many unessential, special interest projects and for not guaranteeing money for building dams to create new reservoirs.

The drought also complicates one of Brown’s top public works priorities, a $25 billion plan to build two 30-mile tunnels to ship water from Northern California to Central Valley farms and Southern California cities.

The lack of rain and snow, as well as Brown’s own statement on Wednesday that California is likely to see diminished Sierra snow packs in the future, have raised questions about whether it’s smart to build a project that is designed to send even more water south.

Brown, who has given more State of the State addresses than any other governor in California history, delivered a restrained speech that was largely without surprises.

He touched on the state’s financial turnaround after years of budget deficits, and noted his continued efforts to reduce the state’s prison population and equalize public school funding.

Brown touted the one million new jobs that have been created in California since 2010 and said the state faces budget surpluses in the billions of dollars for the foreseeable future, thanks to a rebounding economy and tax increases approved by voters in 2012.

Yet he also said California continues to face financial challenges that could imperil its future, including $100 billion in pension liabilities for state workers, teachers and judges, tens of billions more for retiree health care and $65 billion to maintain roads and other public works.

Brown’s budget starts paying down some of the state’s debt, allotting $11 billion to that purpose, and sets aside $1.6 billion in a rainy day fund. In emphasizing his plea for fiscal restraint, Brown provided a moment of levity when he held up a playing card. One side showed a bar graph of the state’s recurring budget deficits, while the other had an image of his dog, Sutter, with a message urging prudence.

The cards, which were handed out to reporters covering the speech, carried various messages attributed to the Welsh corgi, including: “Save some biscuits for a rainy day.”

Despite his call for budgetary restraint, Brown will be challenged during his expected re-election campaign to explain why he continues to support the $68 billion high-speed rail project. It has been a priority of his, even as public support has fallen and the sources of money to pay for it become increasingly elusive.

He made only a passing reference to the bullet train during his 18-minute address.

Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, a Republican who announced his challenge to Brown on Tuesday, criticized the governor for failing to address poverty, low-performing schools and California’s unemployment rate, which has been falling but remains among the highest in the nation at 8.5 percent.

“Instead of doing the hard work of fixing these problems, Gov. Brown is focused on touting record-high spending and building a crazy train that the state doesn’t want and can’t afford,” Kashkari said in a prepared statement.

Brown’s other Republican challenger, state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, said the speech was devoid of solutions for restoring the state’s prosperity, repairing its infrastructure and cutting regulations.

“I was shocked by the complete lack of any cognizance of how most Californians feel,” he said.

The governor’s address came less than two weeks after he delivered his state budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts in July, outlining a vision that embraces frugality even as tax revenue soars to a record level.

The $106.8 billion general fund he proposed is nearly 9 percent more than spending in the current fiscal year. That includes $45.2 billion for K-12 schools, a year-over-year increase of nearly $4 billion.

Brown’s vision for how the education money is to be spent — laid out in last year’s address to the Legislature — is starting to take effect.

Last week, the state Board of Education approved new rules that direct school districts to funnel billions of dollars of new revenue toward schools that serve high numbers of students from low-income families, who are English-learners or are in foster care.

Many Republican lawmakers have embraced Brown’s message of frugality while questioning whether his fellow Democrats will go along after years of cutbacks to programs and services they favor.

“I remain skeptical that a majority of Democrats in the Legislature share this vision,” said Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, in a statement.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rich giddensJanuary 23, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    the drought provides an excuse for that snake to skate on and weasel with.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 19 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 8 Comments

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 6 Comments

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7