MOORLACH UPDATE — Gubernatorial Inauguration — January 8, 2019

Yesterday was my first Gubernatorial Inauguration. I have siblings that have attended a Presidential Inauguration in D.C., but attending the swearing-in of the Governor of the most populous state in the nation is probably the next best thing.

I was interviewed by KCRA 3 and shared my concerns about the business community dealing with extended parental leave and its potential for discouraging companies from staying in California and that the state of the current economy should be of concern to the Governor and the Legislature. It is provided in the first piece below.

For FOX News 40, I reiterated that school districts were already in financial distress and adding a pre-K program would lead to even more pension and retiree medical costs, further exacerbating the difficult fiscal situation they are currently facing. It is the second piece below.

Also see KTLA 5 at

I did send out a congratulatory press release and look forward to working with Governor Newsom during the 2019-2020 Session:

I would like to congratulate Gov. Gavin Newsom on his inauguration as California’s 40th governor, especially how he brought up the passage in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount about building a strong foundation for “our house.”

The new governor will release the specifics in his budget proposal on January 10. I am hoping the state’s “foundation” is used to take on the difficult fiscal condition of most of the state’s municipalities and school districts.

A proper foundation also will care for the least among us. As one who has worked to help the homeless and mentally ill since before my public service began 25 years ago, I was heartened by his words, “We will stop stigmatizing mental health and start supporting it.” I look forward to working with him on this and other critical issues.

3 takeaways from Gov. Newsom’s inaugural speech

Mike Luery

Gavin Newsom was sworn in Monday as California’s 40th governor.

Newsom took the helm with a speech laced with bold pronouncements about California’s values and the direction he envisions for the nation’s most populous state.

“People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom, 51, declared to a crowd of hundreds packed into a tent outside the Capitol.

Newsom said it’s California that can best defend U.S. values in the face of “incompetence and corruption” in Washington. He never mentioned President Donald Trump by name, but his speech was laced with sharp rebukes of Trump’s policies, particularly on immigration.

Here are 3 takeaways from Newsom’s inauguration speech

1) Newsom defended California values

During his inauguration speech, Newsom talked about the “California dream” and how the state is a model for the U.S., pointing out the high cost of living.

“We face serious challenges — some that have been deferred for too long,” Newsom. “We face a gulf between the rich and everyone else — and it’s not just inequality of wealth, it’s inequality of opportunity.”

Newsom’s California dream also includes reaching out to rural residents, as he did Sunday night in a benefit concert at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The concert served as a fundraiser for victims of the Camp Fire, which swept through Butte County in November.

“Many members of our rural communities feel that Sacramento doesn’t care about them, that we don’t even really see them,” Newsom said. “Well, I see you and I care about you, and I will represent you with pride.”

2) Newsom wants to invest in early education and paid parental leave

Newsom also is focused on families and education.

Surrounded by his four children, Newsom talked about his dedication to early education.

He said by fighting against “an achievement gap in our schools and a readiness gap that holds back millions of our kids,” the state could change the odds for success for millions of children.

Newsom has floated the idea of spending $2 billion to promote early childhood learning for kids under 5 years old.

“I think California has the funds to support it if we create a balanced budget, which we have to under state law,” said Art Torres, former chairman of the California Democratic Party.

Newsom is also thinking about providing six months of paid leave for new parents, a costly proposal for which there is no identified funding source.

“Something is going to bust soon, and this will probably be one of the biggest challenges for our new governor,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa.

Even some Democrats worry that paid parental leave is too costly.

“I don’t know whether we’re ready for that in California,” said Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. “We’re going to have to take a step back to study and see how we’re going to fund it. I’m concerned about the economy.”

California has $14 billion in a rainy-day fund and will have a nearly $15 billion surplus in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Newsom will introduce his first budget to the public on Thursday.

“I hope (Newsom) realizes that even though there’s a surplus right now, that can go like overnight,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, a D-San Mateo.

Newsom’s plan shows that he relates to the challenges of being a parent.

“We will support parents they need support, trust me, so that they can give their kids the love and care that they need,” he said.

3) California versus Trump

With Jerry Brown now settled in to his Colusa County ranch, Newsom is now the lead warrior in the state’s war of resistance to Trump.

“The administration in Washington is hostile to California values,” Newsom declared. “The country is watching us. The world is waiting on us and the future depends on us, and we will seize the moment.”

The new governor’s comments drew high praise from some of California’s representatives in Washington, D.C.

“California is going to lead,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove. “We’re going to push back on Mr. Trump and tell him no we can’t do it.”

California is saying no to the border wall that Trump believes is essential for national security.

“The president isn’t going to get his wall,” Garamendi predicted. “We’re not going to spend $5 billion or $5.7 billion foolishly on something that isn’t going to solve the problem,” he told KCRA 3.

There were signs in the speech that Newsom plans to defy Trump.

“We will offer an alternative to the corruption and the incompetence in the White House,” Newsom said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

Newsom Touts a ‘California for All’ in Inaugural Address


Gov. Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom was sworn in Monday and immediately drew sharp battle lines with President Donald Trump, pledging to enact “progressive, principled” policies as the antidote to the White House’s “corruption and incompetence.”

“People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom, 51, declared to a crowd of hundreds packed into a tent outside the Capitol.

Newsom took the helm as California’s 40th governor with a speech laced with bold pronouncements about California’s values and the direction he envisions for the nation’s most populous state.

His inauguration was by-in-large a victory celebration and he didn’t stray much from his campaign promises.

“We will never waver in our pursuit of guaranteed health care for all Californians,” he said.

On his agenda is more money for preschool and higher education, increasing wages and job opportunities, guaranteeing union rights, supporting the state’s immigrant population and tackling the state’s affordability crisis.

But there were few specifics on how he’ll get there. He never mentioned Trump by name, but said the president’s administration is “hostile to California’s values and interests” and blasted plans to build a wall along the nation’s border with Mexico.

“The country is watching us, the world is watching us. The future depends on us, and we will seize this moment,” he said.

Newly installed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, was among those in attendance for the inaugural address. She got a standing ovation when she entered, an affirmation of the strong backing her opposition to Trump has in California’s Democrat-controlled capital.

A church choir from Compton got the crowd on its feet with upbeat renditions of popular songs to kick off the event, reflecting the younger, flashier style Newsom will bring compared to his 80-year-old predecessor, Jerry Brown.

In another sign of the generational shift, Newsom’s 2-year-old son Dutch wandered on stage during the speech. Newsom, who has four children, picked him up and continued delivering his speech. The boy then walked around stage dragging a blanket, drawing laughs from the crowd until Newsom’s wife took him off stage.

Even as he needled Trump, Newsom offered an overture to voters in rural California, millions of whom voted for Trump and John Cox, Newsom’s Republican rival in November.

“I recognize that many in our rural communities believe that Sacramento doesn’t care about them — doesn’t even really see them,” he said. “I see you. I care about you. And I will represent you with pride.

While touting the California Dream and strong economy, Newsom also acknowledged the state has problems, from a homelessness crisis to a gulf between the state’s wealthiest and poorest residents to failing schools, all of which he called “moral imperatives.” Beyond Trump, he pledged to take on drug companies, the gun lobby, polluters and payday lenders.

Newsom praised Brown, a longtime family friend, but indicated he would strike out a separate path from the fiscal restraint Brown made a hallmark of his last eight years in office. Brown sometimes angered legislative Democrats by rejecting big-ticket social spending items.

Newsom, meanwhile, already has pledged to expand access to early childhood education, reduce the cost of community college and extend family leave. He suggested Brown’s method of resisting more spending in favor of saving needed rethinking.

“For eight years, California has built a foundation of rock,” he said. “Our job now is not to rest on that foundation. It is to build our house upon it.”

More specifics on Newsom’s plans — including a “Marshall plan” for affordable housing, a reduction in drug prices and criminal justice reforms — will be outlined in the coming days.

“We’re committed to launching a Marshall plan for affordable housing and we’ll lift up the fight against homelessness from a local matter to a statewide mission,” Newsom said.

Newsom’s inaugural address and celebration highlighted California’s diversity. His wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, delivered opening remarks in Spanish and a Mexican-American band from Richmond performed.

Throughout his speech, Newsom sharply contrasted Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, saying California will not have “one house for the rich and one for the poor, or one for the native-born and one for the rest.”

For his part, Newsom said there should be a moral responsibility to aim high.

“Doing what is right even though it is hard, that will be the foundational mission of our administration,” he said. “We will be California for all.”

But his something-for-everyone approach has some Republican lawmakers worried about the cost of existing public obligations.

“These pension plans, these retiree medical costs are really taking a burden,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. “So before we add on we should just step back.”

“All these dreamy ideas, some have merit, but they can’t be just a blank check. The people of California cannot afford that,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.

Newsom supporters back his vision while believing that he should and will be a responsible spender.

“Just because we have a $14 billion surplus right now is not anything to crow about because first of all that can be gone instantaneously overnight,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough.

Gov. Newsom is expected to release the first draft of his state budget on Thursday and that will go a long way in answering the persistent questions about how he plans to pay for his vision for California.


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