State of State: SCC Business Council Breakdown

By: Keshav Kumar

Yesterday California Governor Newsom was at the State Assembly giving his annual State of our State address. While the State of the State was generally as a low-key affair during Governor Brown’s administration, Governor Newsom used the address to highlight the work he has already begun, and the likely proposals he will be putting forward during the upcoming year. The event’s format is largely similar to the State of the Union in that the Governor is invited to speak on the Assembly floor, and special guests are invited by legislators, who line the upper chambers.

During his speech, which lasted nearly an hour, Governor Newsom tackled a host of issues, giving Californians a solid idea of what we can expect from his administration. While the contents of his address are mere concepts today, SCCBC staff expects that the Governor will have a ‘hands on’ and public approach to working with the legislature and governing generally. Below we have highlighted some of Governor Newsom’s most notable proposals and pledges:

  1. The statewide ‘bullet train’ project originally intended to run across the state will be dramatically downgraded. Instead Governor Newsom called for the train to run from Merced to Bakersfield, limiting the train to a 100 mile route.
  2. The Governor will pull two-thirds of the California National Guard from the state’s border, instead allocating their services to fire prevention/suppression and counter-drug task force measures.
  3. Governor Newsom publicly stated his support for downsizing the delta tunnel project, he advocated for a one tunnel system rather the original two tunnel system. Current analysis of the project says this will save the state billions of dollars.
  4. The PG&E strike team previously formed by the Governor will be presenting their recommendations and strategies regarding the company’s future within sixty days.
  5. Darrell Steinberg, previously a State Senator and current Mayor of Sacramento, became the Governor’s homelessness czar, fulfilling one of his campaign promises.
  6. Governor Newsom will be pursuing action against cities that have failed to meet their affordable housing obligations. While his administration has already launched a lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach, the Governor noted that there are at least 47 cities across the state who are not meeting their obligations. A list of the 47 cities has not yet become publicly available.
  7. Finally Governor Newsom decidedly stated that he will sign a good ‘rent stability package’ as a compromise on the battle over Proposition 10 battle.