Yuba-Sutter reacts to governor's State of the State Address
Gov. Jerry Brown's soaring State of the State address last week in Sacramento touched on many themes as he outlined his vision for California.
He touted huge investments in water and rail systems while also saying the state should not live beyond its means.
We asked people who will have direct impact from the governor's proposals what they thought about the speech and what their hopes were for the state this year.
Jonathan Barth, assistant superintendent of Business Services at Yuba City Unified School District:
It's good to see that he's really sticking to his commitment with Proposition 30, (voter approved tax to fund schools) and that he plans to keep those funds where he originally said it was going to go to. I'm delighted to see his commitment to building a reserve fund, or rainy day fund. And I'm glad to see his willingness to work with Republicans and not just steam roll over everyone just because of the Democratic super majority.
John Fleming, economic development coordinator for Yuba County:
A few years ago, Gov. Brown got rid of redevelopment agencies, and it's clear enterprise zones are next on his list. I think from an economic development perspective, we have few tools in the tool chest, and our work with the enterprise zone is up on our priority list. A case can certainly be made that enterprise zones are extremely important and very efficient.
In terms of our fiscal future and how we're seen by Washington, DC, and the markets, this particular governor has put us on the right track.
State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber:
Although the governor argued for fiscal restraint, he was silent on critical budget reforms like a hard spending cap and a real reserve. The budget is not fixed; it is funded with temporary tax increases. ... The proposal to build two tunnels around the San Joaquin Delta is not the way to go; it is a pipe dream.
The costly high speed rail and the peripheral canals are unnecessary, and we simply cannot afford them.
I am encouraged that the governor expressed a desire to rethink CEQA and the hurdles this law places on job creation and retention across the state.
Mike Wade, executive director, California Farm Water Coalition:
We are supportive of the projects proposed by Gov. Brown. For 20 years, we've had difficulty moving water through the Delta to meet water needs in both urban and farming areas. We believe that some kind of improved way to get that water in or around the Delta is needed. The twin tunnels project (Brown has proposed) does that, it helps improves habitat for fish. ... There's some light at the end of the tunnel for ways to move forward. The ecosystem is suffering; there are water users who are suffering. It's a bad situation all around. We're hoping this proposal will fix that.
Mark Allgire, assistant superintendent of Business Services, Marysville Unified School District:
The governor didn't propose any mid-year budget cuts (to education) and that's a welcome change after many years of cutbacks. It's the first time in several years that we're not facing more cuts, and that's outstanding news. He's made a significant proposal (Prop. 30) that appears will increase (school) funding over time. That's the highlight of his proposals for us.
Brynda Stranix, Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corp. president and chief operating officer:
I really hope Gov. Brown puts funding resources in the state office of Economic Development, help make it a priority. We didn't have much economic development energy under (Gov. Arnold) Schwarzenegger, but when Brown came in, he put the money back into it. But it has to be more than just bodies, there have to be resources behind it.
Miriam Root, Yuba College spokeswoman:
He (Gov. Brown) has really been an advocate of education and has been taking those issues head-on. He's said the tuition increases are not the answer and that he doesn't believe students should become the default financiers of college education and I think he's going to try and maintain the same state-mandated fees. I know that really helps students plan their education.
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica:
We have to make sure education remains on the top of our list of priorities. California is seeing some tough times, but if we work together with the governor and our Democrat colleagues, we can get this state back on track again.
(The state's high unemployment rate) is unacceptable. We need to change the culture in Sacramento from hunting, stalking and fining businesses to supporting business. We need to bring back jobs.
Caleb Dardick, executive director, South Yuba River Citizens League:
The Delta is a very fragile ecosystem, and it's also the gateway for salmon to and from the Yuba Watershed. I think as the state seeks to satisfy our thirst for more water, we're going to have to be very careful that the water diversions don't further imperil the fish. They're in jeopardy of extinction. And if juvenile salmon can't get back to the ocean and spawning salmon can't get back here, it will be bad for California's fisheries and our economy. We hope these proposals (from the governor) will be studied carefully with the best science and have a comprehensive approach.