SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Governor Jerry Brown in his final State of the State Thursday looked back at his four terms in office and defended a number of much-scrutinized projects.
During the address, Brown defended two massive infrastructure projects. In acknowledging that there are “obstacles” in the plan to build a high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Brown said the project is still cheaper than expanding airports or building new roads.
Bullet train executives recently announced the cost of the first leg of the project has skyrocketed to nearly $3 billion.
"Difficulties challenge us but they can't discourage us,” Brown said.
Brown also said he’s persisted with his plan to bring water from northern to Southern California, saying it’s vital to the state. The Governor’s administration recently scaled back on the plan.
Brown also called for a task force of scientists and forest management experts to find ways to reduce the threat of wildfires.
Brown pointed out that wildfires are becoming more destructive and the fire season becoming longer.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers said leaders in the state need to remember the working class and small businesses even as Brown praised the state’s success.
In reacting to the address, Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield criticized the billions of dollars in higher taxes since Brown took office.
Assemblyman Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach also criticized the governor saying Brown should focus on spending high taxes on improving roads instead of working on a high-speed rail.
This was the 79-year-old Governor’s 16th State of the State. Brown served two terms as Governor starting in 1975 and returned for two more terms in 2011.