Statement from Senate GOP Leader Huff on Governor Brown's State of the State Address

Monday, January 5, 2015

“Last year Senate Republicans proved we can work with Governor Brown on solutions to benefit all Californians, such as the Rainy Day Fund and the bipartisan water bond.  We hope to continue that collaboration in 2015 on the biggest issues that face us.

“We agree that building and repairing our local streets and roads and state highways is a critical infrastructure investment that requires immediate action, and we appreciate his call for a bipartisan effort to address it.  Hundreds of millions of dollars in existing taxes and fees were diverted from roads during past budget crises and it’s time for that money to be repaid.

“We heard broad goals and ideas for the environment, but the devil is always in the details.   Experience has shown these ‘big dream’ proposals overlook the real world impacts they may have on our struggling middle class. Given our high housing costs, energy costs, and taxes I don’t think the working people of California can take on a bunch of costly new government mandates.  We already have electricity rates that are 50 percent higher than our neighboring states. At what point does being on the leading edge of environmental reform impact our ability to create jobs?

“I was disappointed the governor didn’t mention why he continues to appeal the landmark Court ruling known as the “Vergara” case, which many have called the civil rights issue of our time. Too many children, especially children of color from low-income families, are being systematically denied the quality education they are entitled to.  The Vergara ruling provides a much needed and long overdue spotlight on a broken school system.

The governor sounded a cautionary note on the growing costs of our health and human services ongoing spending commitments that will run onto the billions, and the need to address current liabilities like public employee retiree health care which now exceeds $70 billion.  We hope his fellow Democrats understand the significance of those commitments as they impact our ability to balance the state budget now and in the future.  We do not want to see a repeat of the recent state fiscal crises fed by surplus revenues and unsustainable spending desires.

Republicans look forward to working with the Governor and legislative democrats to put the people of California first. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”