Governor Brown’s State of State Gets Mixed Reviews

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SACRAMENTO --

During his state of the state address before the legislature, Brown said the state has done much to help bridge the income gap between rich and poor, including increasing the minimum wage and implementing the Affordable Care Act.

But he also warned about unexpected downturns in the economy, the need to pay off pension liabilities, funding a $1 billion shortfall in Medi-Cal and preparing for natural disasters as reasons to put more money into the state's emergency reserve.

He also said the state has to collect money for a huge backlog of road and infrastructure repairs.

"Sooner rather than later, we have to bite the bullet and enact new fees and taxes for this purpose," Brown said.

The speech was interrupted several times by applause, but not from everyone.

While Republicans support the governor's restrained spending, they drew the line on new taxes.

"The thought that we're even talking about new taxes when we have $7 billion more, I think is wrong," said Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes.

Democrats say there is enough new money to accomplish the governor's goals, and at the same time, help the poor and disabled who bore the brunt of budget cuts in the recession.

"Not every Californian feels the prosperity that we're seeing return to California," said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

Kevin McCarty, who is on an Assembly budget committee, said he believes there is room for compromise in the governor's budget.

"We're not going to approve his plan and rubber stamp it, we're going to put our thoughts, vision on the state budget," McCarty said.