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Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his annual State of the State address in Sacramento today, a speech expected to chart an optimistic course for California days after millions of people across the state protested Donald Trump and his incoming administration.
Brown in recent weeks has sought to bolster his case for a cautious 2017-18 spending plan, while championing key measures aimed at addressing his signature issue – climate change. He has been reluctant about addressing potential federal funding cuts under Trump’s administration, but his spending blueprint suggests the state is preparing, should promises Trump made on the campaign trail become reality.
Billions of dollars flow to California from the federal government every year. Trump has threatened to cut federal funding for states that declare themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, and he has taken beginning steps to dismantle Obamacare, without a clear replacement plan. For the health care safety net alone, the state receives more than $15 billion per year to subsidize care for low-income Californians under the Medi-Cal expansion.
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Brown is also expected to swear in Xavier Becerra, who was confirmed Monday as California attorney general by a 26-9 vote in the state Senate. He is California’s first Latino attorney general.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The Senate Housing and Transportation Committee is expected to convene a hearing on significant funding shortfalls, amounting to billions of dollars, for long-term statewide infrastructure needs, including the upkeep of state roads, bridges and public transportation systems.
Brown has proposed tax and fee hikes to shore up funding to address long-term needs for roads and transportation. His spending proposal includes a transportation plan that would generate $4.2 billion annually, including a new $65 fee on all vehicles. And with the Democrats holding a supermajority, the Legislature could go further by approving other taxes and infrastructure-related fee increases without Republican support. Tuesday’s hearing is at 1:30 p.m.
MOVING IN: Newly elected California Sen. Kamala Harris’ staff will move into former Sen. Barbra Boxer’s Washington office.
WORTH REPEATING: “Instead of being defiant, I’d prefer #caleg offer an olive branch & sit at the table.” Republican Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa in response to statements from Senate Democrats in the Legislature who have vowed to fight Donald Trump.