The smoke and mirrors of Newsom’s State of the State address

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On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave his first State of the State address. As is typical with such speeches, there have been some points to like, others to dislike.

Consistent alongside together with his inaugural address, the picture Newsom painted of California and his priorities for the state shifting forward are every optimistic and progressive.

“By every traditional measure, the state of our state is strong,” Newsom talked about, noting the state’s large projected funds surplus and monetary improvement since the recession.

While it’s really true that California authorities does have a funds surplus, it’s moreover true that the state has giant and rising cash owed and obligations that ought to be sorted out.

It’s moreover true that even a modest recession, based mostly on the Legislative Analyst’s Office, would wipe out the state’s reserves in a short while.

And whereas the state authorities is probably sturdy, it’s laborious to say that “the state of our state is strong” when California has every the highest homeless inhabitants and the highest poverty payment in the nation.

These are the variety of realities Newsom’s cheerful picture of points glossed over for the sake of presenting a additional optimistic picture than is probably warranted.

On the vibrant side, on a pair of factors Newsom did current some shades of nuance.

For event, Newsom, whereas defending the lawsuit filed in opposition to Huntington Beach over fairly priced housing, did hint at assist for reform of the California Environmental Quality Act to help velocity up housing enchancment. That’s a step in the correct course.

The half of the speech that generated the most headlines, regarding the high-speed rail boondoggle, sadly encapsulates the governor’s technique to factors.

The problem, initially supplied to voters as linking Northern and Southern California for merely over $30 billion, has been repeatedly referred to as out by the state auditor for faulty administration.  Delays and elevated costs have been a key attribute of the bullet observe ever since work on it began.

With this in ideas, Newsom really talked about what bullet observe critics have been saying for a really very long time.

“Let’s be real,” he talked about. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.” He continued, “Right now, there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were.”

Newsom rightly acknowledges that the problem has been a failure up to now. But instead of calling for an end to the problem as an entire, Newsom declared that “we do have the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield,” and went on to argue that ending the high-speed rail between these two cities will revitalize the Central Valley.

“High speed rail is much more than a train project,” he talked about. “It’s about economic transformation and unlocking the enormous potential of the Valley.”

Is a bullet observe linking Merced and Bakersfield really what anyone had in ideas? As very important as revitalizing the Central Valley is, is the high-speed rail problem the appropriate car for that?

Despite some media experiences that Newsom “canceled” or “pulled the plug on” the bullet observe, Newsom later indicated on Twitter that “We’re going to make high-speed rail a reality for CA.”

While we’re glad to see the governor drop the pretense that high-speed rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles is feasible, it’s an outrage to proceed to throw billions of at high-speed rail anyway, and for a route that was on no account on the ballot.

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