George Deukmejian

35th Governor, Republican

State of the State Address

Delivered: January 7, 1987


  • State of the State Address delivered on January 10, 1983
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 10, 1984
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 8, 1985
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 9, 1986
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 6, 1988
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 9, 1989
  • State of the State Address delivered on January 9, 1990
  • Lt. Governor McCarthy, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President pro Tem, members of the legislature, fellow constitutional officers and fellow Californians:

    With their votes last November, Californians said to us, ‘A job well done.' Today, we say to Californians “a job just begun.”

    While we are not complacent, we are indeed thankful that California is one of the few states where the economy is still growing and where government still has the resources to provide improved basic services.

    We're attracting more jobs than any other state. Our schools are teaching the basics again. Our budget is in good hands, protected with a prudent reserve. And the most important significant workfare plan in the nation has ignited hope in the hearts of the disadvantaged.

    California is stronger, more prosperous and more respected today than at any time in our history. As we grapple with the challenges which lie ahead, let us not lose sight of that fact. California is a very special state, and there's no better place anywhere to raise a family or to build a future.

    Recently, our spirits soared and our hearts filled with pride when two of our fellow citizens circled the globe on a wing, a prayer and a single tank of gas. Propelled by dream power as much as by engine power, the crew and the creators of the Voyager, proved to the world once again that California is great because her people are the best, not because her government is the biggest.

    Like the Voyager, California is going global. We're going global so that we can build a prosperity tomorrow that's even stronger than the prosperity we enjoy today.

    We begin with a recognition that the world is not the same as it was after World War II. Back then, America called virtually all the shots. But not anymore. Our nation's gains in productivity have not kept pace with our competitors. Our share of world trade has gone down, while our trade deficit has gone through the roof. We're not only fighting other nations for shares of foreign markets, we are struggling to preserve our own markets here at home.

    Our response to a changing world must be bold and basic. Meeting this competitive challenge requires a more productive society and a common sense fundamentals like education, transportation, public safety, trade promotion and job development. And it depends as much on the united actions of private citizens as it does on the budgets of public programs.

    We begin with sound, common sense government. A competitive state can't afford to squander its resources on unnecessary or duplicative programs.

    Tomorrow, I will submit a positive budget which contains substantial reforms and significant improvements in fundamental services and which increases expenditures by $682 million.

    Our new budget is balanced. It lives within the spending limit wisely imposed by the people in 1979. It contains a prudent reserve for emergencies, and government will impose no tax increases on the people or on business.

    I urge the Legislature to join me in ensuring that California continues to live within in its means. We have learned recently that while our economy is still healthy and government revenues are greater than last year, they are not growing as fast as had been expected. Meanwhile expenditures in some areas are growing too fast.

    We have already drawn from our reserve and adjusted our spending plans to account for these new conditions, and with your help, we will complete this task. But let us also learn from it. California must maintain a prudent budget reserve to protect the people from deficits and tax increases. We needed that reserve this fiscal year. We need it every year. And I will protect the reserve with my veto authority if necessary.

    What could be more critical to California's competitive standing or to our future than education?

    Quality education and California's quest to be the best are inseparable. Therefore, schools will receive 55% of our new general fund budget, making education, without exception, California's highest budget priority.

    Thanks to our united effort these past four years, public education has begun a sparkling comeback. This year, we are going to continue the restoration of educational opportunity in California. Schools at all levels will receive an additional increase in funds to implement educational reforms.

    I am also proposing a way to reduce class size. During the past two years, I have vetoed legislation that you sent me addressing this issue. I did that, not because I am opposed to smaller classes, but because all funds that we could responsibly designate for education were already allocated through the budget bill.

    This year, I am proposing that we phase out several less essential programs and redirect those funds toward a multi-year effort to reduce class size. If you agree, then we can provide greater individual attention for each child where it counts the most – in grades one, two and three.

    These young children will be entering the California workforce at the turn of the century, the year 2000. Between now and then, we must create six million new jobs just to keep pace. We're going to help create those jobs by unlocking the golden trade and investment opportunities of the Pacific Rim.

    I am proposing a vigorous trade promotion campaign, totaling nearly $9 million, to promote California overseas, unearth new markets, and attract job-creating investment.

    Next week, I will travel to Japan to open California's new trade office in Tokyo, and to meet with Japanese business and government leaders. This spring, I will meet with European officials and open a second California trade office in London.

    I plan to remind all of these leaders that California believes in free trade, but that we insist on fair trade.

    I will point out that together, we recently addressed a barrier to investment in our state which many of them had requested us to do, the unitary method of taxation. And I will ask them now to respond to our showing of good faith by lowering their own trade barriers and increasing their investment in our state.

    With many officials in Washington, D.C. and other states openly advocating protectionist legislation, California represents one of the strongest defenders of free trade. We support an open trading system because it has brought our state tremendous economic benefits. Yet, our trading partners must know that this consensus could soon be lost unless they show rapid progress in opening their markets to California products.

    As we build new markets abroad, we must also continue to strengthen California's economic base here at home. Between now and the year 2000, 15 million additional cars and trucks will crowd our roads and highways. I am proposing a program to expand our transportation network.

    First, we will provide $250 million additional dollars from the state highway account for highway construction and vigorously seek some $700 million in federal highway funds that owed to California.

    In addition, we will add 400 new positions in the Department of Transportation so that highway projects can be completed in a more timely fashion. We will expand our contracting out capability and implement new techniques to improve the flow of traffic and highway safety.

    We will also continue to permit local governments to raise the sales tax, subject to a vote for the people, for the express purpose of improving transportation. And, I have asked my Secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing to report to me in the coming weeks detailing other methods for raising transportation funds.

    No state can compete if it fails to offer its citizens a clean and safe place to live. California has tackled the complex problem of toxic waste better and faster than virtually all other states.

    This year, we're going to do even more. We will increase funding for toxic cleanup by another 25%, and we have a cleanup plan in place to address every significant toxic hazard in our state. I have directed the Department of Health Services to report to the people and the Legislature on a quarterly basis the progress and status of each cleanup project.

    We will also fully implement Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Enforcement Act. I have today designated the Health and Welfare Agency as the lead agency in the effort to implement this measure.

    As long as I'm Governor, fighting the reign of criminal terror will be at the very top of California's agenda. In the last four years, we worked together to begin the first major prison expansion program in two decades. Four new prisons have been opened and thousands of new beds have been added to our capacity.

    Today, we are prepared to open two additional prisons. But, under an existing law, that cannot happen until a site is selected for a state prison in Los Angeles.

    Thirty-eight percent of state prison inmates come from Los Angeles, yet the county has no prison. In the name of fairness, it is time to change that fact. I am calling on the members of the state Senate to join your colleagues in the Assembly and pass legislation to site a Los Angeles prison in the downtown industrial location that has been identified by the Department of Corrections.

    Earlier, the opponents of this prison voiced two concerns. They were concerned that the price of the property was too high and that [is] sic was contaminated with hazardous materials.

    Last week, it was announced that the Crown Coach property has been sold. We have spoken to both the purchaser and the seller and learned that the sales price is actually slightly higher than what the state had expected to pay. This proves that the state's anticipated purchase cost was right in line with the market value of the property.

    Secondly, numerous tests have been run at various locations on the property, and I am pleased to tell you that no contamination was found anywhere. And, we have a binding agreement with the owners of the neighboring property that should any contamination be found in the future, they will take full responsibility for cleaning it up.

    Now that these concerns have been addressed, there is no reason or excuse for any further delay. We must open these prisons so that we can put more dangerous criminals behind bars.

    There's no current need to concentrate all the power in Sacramento, especially when it results in wasting the taxpayers' hard earned money on duplication and excessive bureaucracy. California's future as a world class competitor depends on competent, efficient government, and it requires greater freedom and autonomy at the local level. I am proposing a ‘back to the people' policy whereby dozens of state mandates will be eliminated and programs, costing nearly $500 million, will be transferred to local governments, along with funding.

    We must also implement needed reforms in your MediCal program. We are now spending $5 billion on this program, over $1 billion more than just four years ago for a program which provides services well beyond those of most private health plans.

    Common sense tells us that we can meet the necessary health needs of the poor, without shortchanging schools, jobs or public safety. Together, we can provide compassionate, essential care for the sick and at the same time protect the good health of our taxpayers.

    Speaking of taxpayers, I will support changes in our tax code to provide greater conformity with the new federal tax law, along with fewer tax brackets and lower tax rates.

    Ladies and gentlemen, as California builds for the future, we will not forget those who need our special help.

    I am proposing that 30% of our new budget, $9.3 billion, be devoted to programs to help the poor, the elderly, the young, the handicapped, and the sick.

    I will ask you to pass tougher penalties for those who defraud or commit crimes against our senior citizens, as well as measures to support in-home care for seniors and research to fight Alzheimer's disease.

    Let us also enact a Children's Initiative for the young people of California. My proposal will safeguard our children from accidents, developmental disabilities and from the vicious parasites who exploit them in drug, pornography and prostitution rackets.

    I am calling for a 50% increase in the field force of state narcotics agents and an expansion of the most effective drug education programs. Let's work to convince both the pushers and the users that it doesn't pay to be involved with drugs.

    This call to action is not directed to the government only, but to the people as well. Our businesses must be more productive. Out workers must be better trained. Our economic base must be refurbished. Our teachers and students must go the extra mile to meet their mission of educational excellence. And our families must instill in their children those basic values of hard work, dedication, commitment and respect for the rights of others.

    I know Californians can rise to these challenges. For there is more daring, more decency, and more determination here in our state than in any other land on earth. A powerful spirit pushes us on. It makes us believe with all our hearts that California has a special destiny to be the very best.

    Like the new pioneers of flight who are with us today, we Californians are voyagers journeying into a golden future. If we make that journey together, then we can look to our children with joy and pride and confidence, and tell them: the best is yet to come.

    Thank you very much.