Gov. Jerry Brown’s speech doesn’t mention high-speed rail

Jerry Brown
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the Association of California Water Agencies conference in Sacramento, Calif. After scoring victories last year on his signature priority of climate change, Brown will lay out his next agenda for California as he delivers his state of the state address Thursday, Jan 21.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The latest on Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address in California (all times local):

12:20

Gov. Jerry Brown made no mention of high-speed rail in his annual State of the State speech to state lawmakers.

The $68 billion project has been a top priority for the Democratic governor.

Republicans have fiercely criticized it.

Brown focused instead Thursday on deferred maintenance for roads, highways and bridges.

He pushed for an increase in taxes and fees that would be dedicated to improving roadways.

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12:10 p.m.

Legislative Democrats say they can spend some of California’s budget surplus on expanded government services without disrupting Gov. Jerry Brown’s push for fiscal restraint.

Brown did not push for new programs in his annual State of the State speech Thursday, urging lawmakers instead to focus on paying down debts and liabilities incurred in the past.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says the governor always focuses on austerity, but the Assembly can responsibly consider investments in schools, the environment and reducing poverty.

The San Diego Democrat says news coverage of the governor’s speech is often focused on looking for an adult in the room. But Atkins says the adults in the Legislature built the rainy day fund and have passed budgets on-time five years in a row.

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11:30 a.m.

California Republicans are praising the message of fiscal restraint in Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s annual State of the State address.

But GOP lawmakers were critical of Brown’s push Thursday to raise taxes and fees for transportation infrastructure.

Republican Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel says Brown’s emphasis on paying existing commitments is “right on target.” But Bates says the governor undermined his point by pushing for higher taxes.

Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley says California must spend more of the money it already collects on transportation before considering a tax hike.

Brown called a special session last year to deal with a backlog in transportation infrastructure needs, but his effort has not gained traction.

He urged lawmakers Thursday to “bite the bullet” and approve new taxes and fees.

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10:50 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is urging California lawmakers to “bite the bullet” and approve new taxes and fees dedicated to transportation.

The Democratic governor told the Legislature in his annual State of the State speech Thursday that it’s impossible to maintain roads and bridges without a dedicated source of revenue.

He says ideology and politics are barriers stand in the way but “one way or another, the roads must be fixed.”

Brown called a special session last year to deal with a backlog in transportation infrastructure spending, but his effort has not gained traction.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber says road construction can be funded without a tax hike and the GOP won’t support one.

Tax increases require a support from a supermajority of lawmakers, so Democrats can’t raise taxes without Republican votes.

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10:40 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown opened his annual State of the State address with a joke about spending his $24 million of campaign cash on a ballot proposition allowing him to seek a fifth term.

The 77-year-old Democrat is barred by term limits from running for office again.

Brown delivered his 14th State of the State speech to the Legislature on Thursday.

He did not outline new programs, saying he wants to focus instead on how to pay for commitments already made.

Brown says economists can’t confidently predict the next recession, and California must be prepared to pay its obligations during the next economic downturn.

He’s beginning his sixth year as governor after he previously held the post from 1975 to 1983.

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10:25 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown says he’s not outlining new programs in his annual State of the State address and wants to focus instead on how to pay for commitments already made.

Brown laid out his next vision for the future of California on Thursday in the annual speech to the Legislature.

In his prepared remarks, Brown says California has already taken several steps to tackle growing economic inequality that include a minimum wage hike, a tax credit for low-wage workers and health coverage for the children of people who can’t prove they’re legally in the country.

The 77-year-old Democrat is entering his sixth year as governor after he previously held the post from 1975 to 1983.

Brown spent much of last year focusing on California’s efforts to address climate change, his signature issue.

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12:30 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is laying out his next vision for the future of California as he delivers his annual State of the State address.

Brown’s speech to the Legislature Thursday morning comes as the 77-year-old Democrat enters his sixth year as governor after he previously held the post from 1975 to 1983.

Brown spent much of last year focusing on California’s efforts to address climate change, his signature issue. He was criticized for not being engaged enough in the two special sessions he called to address transportation and health care financing.

He’s also still promoting his massive infrastructure projects on high-speed rail and to build twin water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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