The County Voice

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

It’s not often that you hear the Bible, William Butler Yeats, and “The Little Engine That Could” quoted in the same political speech, but Governor Jerry Brown did just that today in a wide ranging State of the State address that was aimed as much to inspire as it was to inform.

The Governor told the story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams about feast and famine as he talked about ending California’s cycle of boom and bust by living within its means, even as Proposition 30 is providing some additional revenue.

Speaking about the need for more local control in schools Governor Brown quoted Yeats, saying “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And he spoke of “The Little Engine That Could” as a metaphor for his High Speed Rail project and for the State of California in general. “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

Within the rhetoric and metaphor, the Governor did also provide some insight into his policy goals: • Calling a special session of the Legislature to deal with implementing the Affordable Care Act and  “finding the right relationship with Counties” to make that happen.” • Allowing local school boards and educators more authority • Holding tuition steady at the Community College, CSU and UC systems • Streamlining the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) • Providing more water for agricultural and urban uses while restoring Delta habitat. Including a tunnel system that bypasses the Delta • Holding firm on new spending and remaining fiscally responsible, despite new revenue

There was a lot in the Governor’s speech for Counties to look at carefully; implementing the Affordable Care Act chief among them. That the Governor specifically mentioned County cooperation in his speech speaks well of the relationship CSAC has built with him and his staff, and it bodes well for that relationship to continue paying dividends.

A transcript of the Governor’s speech is available at his website.

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