All eyes were on Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday for his annual “State of the State Address.”
In his speech, Brown touched on many issues facing the Golden State including mentioning Bakersfield specifically when speaking about high speed rail.
The governor started his speech by touting his success with the state’s budget, but it wasn't all boasting in the speech when Brown highlighted the challenges the state faces.
"This year we will take another step to strengthen the ties between the world's second and ninth largest economies. In April, I will lead a trade and investment mission to China with help from the bay area council and officially open California's new trade and investment office in Shanghai,” said Brown.
Governor Brown also called high speed rail, the transportation of the future.
"The first phase will get us from Madera to Bakersfield. Then we will take it through the Tehachapi mountains to Palmdale, constructing 30 miles of tunnels and bridges. The first rail line through those mountains was built in 1874 and its top speed over the crest is still 24 miles an hour,” said Brown.
On healthcare the governor says 2013 will be another year of strides with the expansion of Covered California, the state's health benefit program to almost one million more Californians.
Another challenge is the state's education budget as officials juggle to meet all federal guidelines for California’s six million students and three hundred thousand teachers.
“We seem to think that education is a thing -like a vaccine- that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children, but as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, "education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire,” said Brown.
Although not all state republican leaders were satisfied with the governor's address, for many republicans his speech was right on point.
"Here's the deal, if we have common ground and he embraces common ground, it's republican today, smaller government less intrusive government, less over weaning government. If we have common ground on that, we will certainly embrace and work with the governor and be his advocates in that respect because we have always been those advocates . That said he has joined us,” said republican State Senator Jim Nielsen.
State Rep. Rudy Salas says he agrees with Governor Brown's comments on giving local school leaders more control over policies in their district versus statewide mandates.