Calif. governor promises vigilance in ‘the battle ahead’ against Trump

Calif. governor promises vigilance in ‘the battle ahead’ against Trump
© Getty
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) used his annual State of the State address on Tuesday to promise vigilance in the face of a new presidential administration that he said poses a threat to his state and the world at large.
 
The annual address is normally a staid affair that gives governors the chance to recite their accomplishments in years past and their agenda for the year ahead. 
 
But in a fiery speech frequently interrupted by applause from Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers of the legislature, Brown turned his attention to President Trump’s administration and what he called “the battle ahead.”
 
ADVERTISEMENT
In the months since Trump’s election, California Democrats have positioned themselves as a bulwark against the new president’s most controversial proposals. Brown suggested Tuesday that some Trump administration plans represent direct threats to his state.
 
“Make no mistake: The future is uncertain and dangers abound. Whether it’s the threat to our budget, or to undocumented Californians, or to our efforts to combat climate change, or even more global threats such as a financial meltdown or a nuclear incident or a terrorist attack, this is a time which calls out for courage and perseverance,” Brown said. “I promise you both.”
 
Brown castigated Trump’s administration over what he called the “bald assertion of alternative facts,” attacks on science and a dissolution of truth and civility.
 
Trump has pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, but Brown said he would work to protect those living in California illegally. Before his speech, he swore in former Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan California delivers swift suit after Trump orders water diversion States sue Trump administration at record pace MORE as the state’s new attorney general — the Democrat is poised to play a major role in an expected series of court battles against the Trump administration.
 
Brown also warned that Trump’s moves to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could blow a massive hole in California’s budget. The state already faces a $1.6 billion financial shortfall, which Brown addressed in a budget proposal sent to the legislature earlier this month. But the tens of billions of federal dollars the healthcare law has sent to California could create a more significant budget deficit, Brown said.
  
“We must prepare for very uncertain times and reaffirm the basic principles that have made California the great exception that it is,” he said.
 
But Brown did signal a willingness to work with the Trump administration on a massive, trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. Brown quoted from Trump’s inaugural address, when the president promised to build “new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.”
 
“I say, amen to that, man. Amen to that, brother. We’re there with you,” Brown said.
 
Brown, known for borrowing from poets, philosophers and statesmen during addresses over his four terms in office, quoted Abraham Lincoln, the English poet John Donne and the 17th century Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius during his brief address. He concluded with two stanzas from Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” before offering one more shot at the Trump administration.
 
“California is not turning back,” Brown thundered. “Not now, not ever.”