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    BY CALMATTERS STAFF

    IN SUMMARY

    Here’s what California’s governor had to say in his 2022 State of the State address — alongside corrections, clarification and context from the CalMatters reporting team.

    Good evening everybody. Good evening everybody. good evening. Thank you everybody. Thank you.

    Well, Madam Lieutenant Governor, it’s nice to be able to say this on International Womens day, it’s great to be able to say, thank you Madam Lieutenant Governor for that introduction.

    Speaker Rendon and Pro Tem Atkins, thank you as always for being here.

    And to members of the Legislature and other state officials, thank you for joining us this evening.

    And of course to my remarkable wife, Jennifer, the First Partner of the State of California. Thank you for not only being the heart of our family, and for everything you do for the people of California.

    It goes without saying, given the state of our world, I don’t imagine there are many people outside these walls waiting on the words that will be said here tonight.

    Interesting oratorical approach to emphasize how unimportant your speech is.
    — Ben Christopher

    But it’s important, as the rabbi said, for us to come together, nonetheless.

    Not just to mark how far we’ve come in the fight against COVID, but also to reaffirm our commitment to democratic institutions.

    If you want to relive the last two years of California’s fight against COVID, check out CalMatters’ timeline— Richard Procter

    As the people of Ukraine continue to come under assault, 2 million by the way, 2 million people already displaced from their homes, we take strength from their contagious courage as well as their willingness to fight for their freedom.

    So tonight is a moment, a moment to reflect not just on what’s happening overseas but it’s a moment to reflect on what it means to live in a society where elected leaders still settle our disagreements by and large with civility and compromise.

    And how we derive strength from a government that reflects the people we represent. Just think about it.

    Our Speaker, son of working-class parents and grandson of Mexican immigrants, worked his way through California’s public education system, earning a Ph.D. from UC Riverside. Now, committed to ensuring every child has access to early learning.

    Our Pro Tem, born in poverty in Virginia, she came to California and became a champion for housing and equal rights for all. The first openly-gay woman to lead both the Assembly and the state Senate.

    Our Chief Justice, public school graduate, descendant of migrant farmworkers, speaking out consistently against income inequality and tackling the cost of justice for people in poverty.

    And take our constitutional officers here tonight — think about this — they include the daughter of an Arkansas sharecropper, an immigrant from the Philippines, the daughter of parents born in China and Greece, one raised by a teacher from Panama, and the proud son of undocumented Mexican immigrants.

    Newsom has made the elevation of under-represented Californians to positions of power and influence a hallmark of his governorship. Sen. Alex Padilla, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Attorney General Rob Bonta and State Supreme Court Justice Martin Jenkins are all demographic firsts and Newsom appointees. — Ben Christopher

    Thank you all for your remarkable service to our state.

    California does democracy like nowhere else in the world. No other place offers opportunity to so many from so many different backgrounds. But we can’t take our democracy for granted.

    Authoritarian and illiberal impulses aren’t just rising overseas. They’ve been echoing here at home for some time. We might not have strongmen quite literally waging war in our country, we are plagued by agents of a national anger machine, fueling division, weaponizing grievance.

    Newsom ran to an easy victory in both 2018 and during last year’s recall by presenting himself as the antidote to Donald Trump and “Trumpism.” He doesn’t say the “T” word in this speech, but it’s still a contrast he’s only too happy to invoke.
    — Ben Christopher

    Powerful forces and loud voices — stoking fear and seeking to divide us, weakening the institutions of our democracy.

    Counting on complacency to erode voting rights, scapegoating vulnerable minorities.

    Conjuring conspiracies and promoting otherness.

    Actively exploiting the “anger of the anxious.

    Anger, by the way, that finds a home when people feel understandably disconnected from each other and our collective future — when that future doesn’t look as bright as the past — making them more susceptible to the siren calls of those trying to tear us apart.

    Foundationally, this is a threat we must all face, together, and prove there’s a better way — a California Way — forward.

    The California Way.

    The California Way means rejecting old binaries and finding new solutions to big problems.

    Touting climate action — and gas money

    Take for example, the speaker was talking about, climate policy. California has no peers.

    Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon might disagree with that statement: “I don’t at all feel that we are leading the world anymore” on climate, he said in November.
    — Emily Hoeven

    For years, we’ve set the rules, and others have followed. But over time, we’ve learned we can’t solve big problems like climate change situationally, with short-term thinking.

    One of the state’s landmark programs may not be working that well. Experts warned lawmakers that the market-based cap-and-trade program is unlikely to achieve 2030 greenhouse gas targets. — Rachel Becker

    The University of California is a research juggernaut, including in climate change. Newsom is seeking an additional $185 million in climate change research, technology development and workforce development for the UC.
    — Mikhail Zinshteyn

    Look, no one’s naive about the moment we’re living in with high gas prices. And the geopolitical uncertainty that’s fueling them.

    California continues to post the highest gas prices in the nation, a political liability for Democrats who increased the state gas tax in 2017. — Emily Hoeven

    In January, we proposed a pause to the gas tax increase.

    The state gas tax has been inching up every year since 2017 when the Legislature passed a $5 billion per year transportation funding bill. Republicans and low tax advocates put a repeal on the ballot the following year, but voters overwhelmingly shot it down. — Ben Christopher

    The governor’s January proposal was very modest: it amounts to the prevention of a 3 cent tax increase on gas suppliers for one year. — Grace Gedye

    But now, it’s clear we have to go farther.

    And that’s why — working with legislative leadership — I’ll be submitting a proposal to put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices.

    Details are still sparse on this proposal — the only fresh one in tonight’s speech. What we know so far: This will be a general tax rebate, not tied to a person’s gas spending, but targeted at car owners. — Ben Christopher

    But I want to make this clear. At a time when we’ve been heating and burning up, one thing we cannot do is repeat the mistakes of the past. By embracing polluters. Drilling even more oil, which only leads to even more extreme weather, more extreme drought, and more wildfire.

    Record-setting drought continues to grip California, and shows little hope of abating as the snowpack dwindles— Rachel Becker

    What more evidence, what more evidence do youneed than our own state?

    Just think about this. In the past few years, we’ve seen whole communities nearly wiped off the map.

    GreenvilleParadiseGrizzly Flats.

    How many more are we willing to sacrifice?

    We need to be fighting polluters, not bolstering them. And in the process of doing so, freeing us once and for all from the grasp of petro-dictators.

    New oil and gas well development near schools, hospitals and homes would be banned under a draft state rule. Newsom also called for an end to new oil fracking permits by 2024. — Rachel Becker

    But this conversation can’t just be about supply, can’t just be about oil supply. Daily life still demands too much fossil fuel.

    That too has to change.

    Underscoring the importance of accelerating California’s leadership in clean technology, this is not just a national security and an environmental justice imperative — clean energy is this generation’s greatest economic opportunity.

    This speaks to an increasingly tender sore point within the California Democratic Party between environmentalists and labor. Exhibit A: This weekend’s party convention— Ben Christopher

    A perfect example by the way, a perfect example of that is our dominance in electric vehicle sales and manufacturing.

    It was, by the way, California policies that created this market.

    California has been a leader for decades in requiring low-emission and zero-emission cars and other vehicles, and it is now developing regulations to ban all new gas-powered cars by 2035. — Rachel Becker

    Now, we have the opportunity to extend this leadership, to secure a critical component of the supply chain for batteries, by tapping one of the world’s largest lithium reserves – right here in California. In Imperial Valley. And you consider this, our nation-leading climate investments  — some $38 billion — will ensure that other innovations will surely follow not by re-creating the 20th century, by extracting more oil, but by extracting new ideas, drilling for new talent by running our economy on a carbon-free engine.

    The California Energy Commission doled out $16 million in grants in 2020 to a handful of companies to determine if it’s feasible to extract lithium from brine in the Salton Sea area. — Rachel Becker

    That’s the California Way.

    Touting the economy, dissing Texas and Florida

    Now, when it comes to the economy, California’s unmatched.


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