California Governor Jerry Brown took credit for his state’s fiscal rebound in a state of the state address on Wednesday that also urged continued restraint by lawmakers seeking to rebuild a social safety net tattered by years of tight budgets and economic malaise.
In a speech that could preview the tone of an expected bid for re-election this year, Brown said that California had added 1 million jobs since 2010 and extricated itself from “a financial sinkhole that defied every effort to climb out of it.
“To avoid the mistakes of the past, we must spend with great prudence, and we must also establish a solid rainy day fund, locked into the constitution,” said Brown, a Democrat now in a second stint as governor after serving two terms from 1975 to 1983.
Brown, 75, has toed a largely centrist path during this go-round at the state’s top job, vetoing several bills, including some gun control measures favored by progressives in his own party – despite Democratic control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship. Brown’s speech showed no sign of a change in that course.
It is true that Brown has been somewhat centrist, if you set the left marker at progressivism. He has always had a penchant for political quirkiness. The high speed rail (something I think it would be great to have if the taxpayers weren’t building it, btw) cash cow isn’t all that he’s ignored so far. He has also been turning a blind eye to the defined benefits debt ticking time bomb, mostly because it will explode in some future governor’s face.
Looks like he’s taking cues from Congress.