On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave the annual State of the State Speech in Sacramento. While his proposed tax rebate for Californians to offset higher gas prices has been the most reported part of the speech, other lawmakers responded differently to it on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) generally backed Newsom’s State of the State. In a series of Tweets, Rendon noted that Newsom said what the problems are in California and said how he would be tackling them in the coming year.
“I don’t think it should surprise anyone to hear Governor Newsom strike the themes he did tonight,” said Rendon in response on Tuesday. “We know what the problems are. They are enormous challenges, beginning with climate change, but one of the things that makes California great is that we are not afraid to tackle them. Tonight you saw our willingness to tackle the issues. You heard us say we will stand by the people of Ukraine, facing a threat to their democracy. I expect the Assembly & Senate will work hand-in-hand with the Governor as we have in the years since COVID struck California. As a team, we will continue to make progress on health, on education, on jobs and on housing on behalf of everyone in the state, especially those who most need the help of their fellow Californians.”
I don’t think it should surprise anyone to hear @cagovernor strike the themes he did tonight. We know what the problems are. They are enormous challenges, beginning with climate change, but one of the things that makes California great is that we are not afraid to tackle them. pic.twitter.com/tkIFQoJuBU
— Anthony Rendon (@Rendon63rd) March 9, 2022
Other Democrats also shared support of Newsom’s State of the State, in particular his tax rebate plan being a new way to address high gas costs. Many others, including Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) noted that after a rocky two years, leadership from the Senate, Assembly, and Governor would continue to bring relief to Californians.
“Californians have been tested these last two years, but our resolve to lift one another up never faltered,” explained Atkins on Tuesday. “Governor Newsom, Speaker Rendon, the California Legislature & I remain determined to finding ways to provide relief & equitable support for Californians.”
Californians have been tested these last two years, but our resolve to lift one another up never faltered. @CAGovernor, @Rendon63rd, the #CALeg, & I remain determined to finding ways to provide relief & equitable support for Californians. #TheCaliforniaWay https://t.co/RvHfXOD8E4 pic.twitter.com/xRBvjl0g29
— Senator Toni Atkins (@SenToniAtkins) March 9, 2022
Republicans, however, blasted back. Republican Assembly leader James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) in particular, pointed out Newsom’s failure at managing wildfires and forestry management and putting the blame for wildfires instead on gas and oil companies. He also pointed out how billions of spending failed to solve many issues in the state.
“We are having these catastrophic wildfires because of bad forestry policy including this Governor’s failure to implement forestry management practices despite having record funding,” Gallagher tweeted.
“Spending billions on various programs has not closed the wealth gap; and during lockdowns some of the richest got a whole lot richer while the middle and lower classes fell behind; our children fell behind. Billions of dollars spent by this Governor (without any audit or transparency) has not solved homelessness. Another new program isn’t going to solve homelessness. Addressing the underlying issues including mental health and drug addiction will. I missed the part where he talked about the State of the State.”
“Nothing about drought or fire danger in the State of the State? I mean other than to say it is all caused by pumping oil… nothing about 40 years of a hands off approach to forestry allowing our forests to become tinderboxes. I highly resent (and that’s saying it nicely) that the Governor dared connect Paradise as a consequence of pumping oil and gas in our own state and say absolutely nothing, NOTHING about the failure to manage our own forests.”
I highly resent (and that’s saying it nicely) that the Governor dared connect Paradise as a consequence of pumping oil and gas in our own state and say absolutely nothing, NOTHING about the failure to manage our own forests.
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) March 9, 2022
Others, like Gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), went so far as to create their own State of the State, countering the many positives noted by Newsom with other points, such as electric rate issues, crime, the exodus of businesses from the state, the COVID aftermath with schools, and the big points of the night – oil and the cost of living.
“So why are so many things going in the wrong direction?” Senator Dahle asked in his speech. “Our cost of living is out of control. Violent crime is at a 25 year high and our streets are unsafe. Inflation is everywhere in America, but California’s high costs are setting records. Gasoline prices are up for drivers, most recently because of the terrible war in Ukraine. But California has the highest cost at the pump. Cross the state line in any direction and you’ll save a dollar a gallon. Our prices are even higher than Hawaii, an island out in the middle of the Pacific.”
“What’s worse is that California is a major oil producer. But the current Governor doesn’t want us to use those resources. His plan is to end those vital blue collar jobs in California and instead send our money to Russia or Venezuela.”
Other issues, such as the Governor not entertaining the notion of a gas tax repeal, were also frequently mentioned, with the Governor and other lawmakers not responding to criticisms of the State of the State as of Wednesday.
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