California in crisis says Brown in state of the state address

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Gov. Jerry Brown delivers the state of the state address as Speaker of the Assembly John Perez (left) looks on at the California State Capitol on Jan. 31, 2011 in Sacramento.

During Gov. Jerry Brown’s state of the state address Monday evening in Sacramento, Brown told the legislature that this is not the time for politics as usual. As expected, Brown devoted much of his speech addressing the difficult cuts to come in order to close a $25 billion state deficit.

“California faces a crisis that is real and unprecedented,” he said. “Each of us will have to struggle with our conscience and our constituencies as we hammer out a sensible plan to put our state on a sound fiscal footing, honestly balance our budget and position California to regain its historic momentum.”

Brown said that it would be “unconscionable” to block a special election in which the electors decide if they want to cut $12 billion from schools and services, or extend current tax statutes another five years.

“When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to block a vote of the people,” said Brown.

In a prepared video and statement, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway delivered the Assembly Republican response to Brown’s address.

“We share the governor's goal of passing an honest and on-time budget,” she said. “It is our hope that Governor Brown focuses on cutting spending and on long-term reform. We need to break away from the failed status quo. That means rejecting higher taxes, attacking wasteful spending, and doing away with the policies and programs that got us into this mess in the first place.”

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