Before I talk of the year ahead, a though about the past. It was a good year.
Despite prophecies of disaster, poor business climate and water and energy shortages, our state experienced an economic boom unparalleled in the nation. By the latest federal statistics, almost one-half million new jobs were created in this state and the people of California did this with half the energy growth rate of five years ago. Our minimum wages were higher than the national average. Our commitment to senior citizens, our encouragement of women, minorities, handicapped citizens set a model for the other states. Our laws protecting the environment were tough. New cars sold in California are now twice as clean as those sold elsewhere. Management of our coastline and beaches protects no only development today but the enjoyment of future generations. Our laws requiring nuclear safeguards have achieved worldwide significance.
This is California. A good environment, a healthy economy, and a commitment to fundamental equality. But as a people, we are too young to look back and stand still with the achievements of the moment. It is time to build for the future. The list of challenges is long.
California has prospered because of our climate and our plentiful supply of energy in the form of oil and gas. AS these finite resources diminish, it is essential that this state invest in the future by insuring new energy supplies. You have already started with the new 55 percent solar tax credit. But more is needed.
I propose that substantial sums of state funds be invested in developing new technologies that will provide energy from coal gasification, geothermal, solar and biomass conversion.
We can protect our quality of life for future generations if we join with private enterprise and the federal government to develop the tremendous untapped energy potential of our state.
When I talk of space, I don't think of movies. I see the future of our species penetrating the universe. This year I propose the state invest $5 million in the practical application of satellite technology for communications and monitoring of our natural resources.
For the University, I have set aside funds to enable the faculty to establish a space institute.
The space shuttle built in California marks the beginning, not the end. It has the same potential as the transcontinental railroad when that brought together the two ends of this continent. It is opening up new possibilities in space.
In the eighties I see the University and our aerospace industries leading the world in both exploring and using space for the enhancement of life on earth.
1977 has been good to most of the people of this state. Personal income increased about twelve and a half percent; our economy outpaced the rest of the nation – most of the countries of the world. We are emerging as a world center. We are part of a pacific culture united by history and geography with the emerging sector and part of this earth. We are a trading center. We can't shrink back from that into some kind of isolation. We have to recognize products. We also export our culture and our ideas.
California has always been on the cutting edge, the cutting edge of new ideas. A great University, a great Legislature, and an honest government. I want to see it that way. I want to build for the future. I want to invest in it. What we do this year will affect people for decades to come, and I see over the years ahead a growing emergence of the people and the institutions of this state. People all over the world are looking at what we are doing. You have been in the forefront of many things. The ideas that we formulate into law come not just from governor or from one legislator or from one year, but the accumulated wisdom and hard work of the people who have come before us, and will come after us. It is a very exciting time. It is a difficult time. We are a state of diverse people, diverse lifestyles. In that diversity, I see a strength. In the conflict, in creative tension between the Legislature and the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch, I see protection of our fundamental liberties and I see a great strength for the future. In the year ahead, I want to work with you and I want to make it a year to be remembered for decades to come. Thank you very much.