California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his State of the State Address on Tuesday, talked about the California way in which this state does democracy like nowhere else in the world, sets climate policy that others have followed, remains the world’s fifth largest economy, has taken bolder steps to protect public health and human life over the last two years — experiencing far lower COVID-19 death rates than any other large state, he said — and he closed with issues that the state still must tackle like homelessness, crime and education.
Area Republican leaders, in statements of their own, weren’t having it.
Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, was quick to release a statement of his own after hearing Newsom speak, offering a message that California is headed in the wrong direction with some serious issues including low literacy rates, high homicide numbers, rising gas prices, unemployment and the state’s inability to handle a drought.
“Last year,” Wilk said in his statement, “the governor struck out at Dodgers Stadium, and this year, he is using smoke and mirrors to hide what we all know — the state of our state is a mess under a one-man rule. Newsom should have delivered his remarks in Orange County because this speech was Fantasyland, not reality.”
In his statement, Wilk said Newsom left much out of his address. He believes, he said, Californians deserve better.
Prior to Newsom’s State of the State Address, Assembly Republicans released a video highlighting the governor’s failures on the issues of crime, homelessness, education and inflation. In the video, Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, spoke about the challenges Californians face as a state while laying out her vision for the future.
“We must declare a statewide homelessness emergency,” Valladares said, “and move the homeless from unhealthy and dangerous public sidewalks into care facilities and housing capable of treating drug addiction and mental illness. We must enhance public safety, improve our education system, and reduce the cost of living so families can work, live and thrive in our beautiful state. Further, immediately suspending the gas tax and focusing on energy independence policies will help alleviate the huge burdens currently faced by working families in California.”
Newsom stood by his accomplishments in his address, and said that, in December alone, 25% of America’s jobs were created in California, with a million new jobs in the last 12 months, and talked about a proposal to put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices.
The governor said he believes people have always looked to California for inspiration.
“And now,” he said in closing, “in the midst of so much turmoil, with the stacking stresses and dramatic social and economic change, California is doing what we have done for generations: lighting out the territory ahead of the rest, expanding the horizon of what’s possible.”