In California’s capital, 2018 will be a year of tumult and results.
The last year of a governor’s term is usually all downhill…not so 2018.
First, Gov. Jerry Brown is ending his unprecedented fourth term – he has a lot on his agenda, knows how to get it done and has told his senior appointees to plan to work through midnight of his last day in the Corner Office.
Brown makes no secret of his drive to achieve an historical legacy. He is focused on California history and said as much in his 2011 inaugural address
Second, there is much to be done, even beyond Brown’s ambitious agenda of WaterFix, High-Speed Rail, Cap-and-Trade, gas tax spending, prudent budgeting, immigration, health care, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and more.
Californians will be recovering from massive fire storms and sexual harassment scandals. There is the running battle with the Trump White House on income tax reform and healthcare delivery. We must build or renovate dams and water infrastructure, transportation modalities and housing.
We may get the first-ever California Farm Bill and the state’s tax structure is long overdue for overhaul.
The remedies under discussion are innovative and controversial – typical California policy and politics, in other words.
The Legislature is gearing up. The state Senate majority set the tone for a New, New Year by selecting a leader with three firsts: Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is the first woman and openly gay person to helm the upper house and the first former Assembly speaker to do so in more than a century.
The regulators are already in motion. The State Water Resources Control Board, California Air Resources Board, Caltrans, Dept. of Water Resources and many more departments are well underway in both preparing and enforcing regulatory regimes that set a global standard.
The Governor’s Budget for 2018-19 will launch the debate. The Dept. of Finance– which every year works through Christmas and New Year’s – is now finishing the annual financial plan for $180+ billion.
Cabinet secretaries were sighted earlier this month by my colleague, rushing into the governor’s office for a last group schooling on the governor’s budget choices. Such a meeting is unusual and a portent of an unusual time and a most unusual year.
In California’s capital, and for all of the Golden State, 2018 will be a year like no other. Watch this space and our social media links for timely updates and developments.