California Governor Jerry Brown is set to be sworn in for his fourth term at the state capitol today, and will combine the ceremony with his annual ‘State of the State’ address. The governor won re-election comfortably in November, and will be 80 years old when he completes his term in four years’ time, though he is still spoken of as a potential presidential candidate.
After making fiscal stability the goal of his third term, Brown is expected to focus on legacy-building projects such as the state’s ambitious high-speed rail project, which is set to break ground later this week despite lingering concerns about the project’s funding and viability.
Brown was coy about his fourth-term agenda during last year’s campaign. He has suggested that he does not intend to make the temporary tax hikes in 2012’s Proposition 30 permanent, though he has said that he will seek legislative support for other ballot initiatives to reform state governance.
One of the major challenges that Brown has largely avoided is the state’s lingering debt and pension crisis. Last year, Brown’s ‘State of the State’ address stressed the need to spend California’s new budget surplus carefully. A referendum for a “rainy day fund” passed in November, though it is only a small step in relation to the state’s daunting long-term financial problems.
Brown may also discuss the newly-implemented law granting illegal aliens to right to obtain state driver’s licenses, and may respond to the growing controversy over tuition hikes at the University of California, according to Capitol Public Radio. Public radio station KQED will broadcast Brown’s ceremony and address beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak