California Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his final “State of the State” address in Sacramento on Thursday, mixing in a reflection on his last two terms in office with warnings about the future – without mention President Trump by name.
Overall, the 79-year-old governor portrayed California as an example to be followed while lambasting the “poison of our politics,” an apparent reference to Trump and the GOP agenda in Washington.
However, Republican critics argue the current state of the pension system is still untenable and the high poverty rate and skyrocketing cost of living are issues yet to be adequately addressed in Sacramento.
“Some people are spending 50 percent of their pay on rent,” Republican Assembly Leader Brian Dahle said after the speech. “With increasing taxes, they’re raising revenues off the back of people here.”
And the address would not have been complete without reference to Brown’s bullet train project, with him admitting that “I make no bones about it. I like trains, and I like high-speed trains even better.”
The price of the high-speed rail connecting the north and south of the state has faced increased costs in the decade since voters approved it. For example, as the Los Angeles Times noted, the first installment – from Bakersfield to Madera – is already $4.6 billion over budget.