Advocacy Updates, Government Relations|

February 12, 2019 – Governor Newsom delivered his first State of the State address today, and outlined his vision for California – some that are particularly noteworthy to the architectural profession and for timely AIA California programs in 2019. The tone throughout his speech stood by his fiscally conservative commitment in his January Budget proposal by “building on the important work that’s already been done.”

Citing that homelessness and lack of housing is a moral issue and has become a public health crisis, Newsom has formed the Commission on Homelessness & Supportive Housing. He has appointed Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to spearhead the conversation to address homelessness and its underlying causes. The AIA CA will reach out to Mayor Steinberg and other leaders who are working diligently to tackle this important issue.

Newsom has also assembled a team of lawyers and financial experts from the energy sector to devise a plan within 60 days for dealing with the recent bankruptcy filing by Pacific Gas & Electric due to its apparent role in the cause of the recent wildfires. He promises that safe, affordable power will continue, and that justice and protection will be sought for the wildfire victims, utility employees and ratepayers.

Despite the unavoidable climate change discussion in California, Newsom spent minimal time talking about climate change. He did say however, that the state won’t waiver on its ambitious clean energy goals and aims to prevent the affects of climate change from falling on those who can least afford it.

Newsom is proposing significant changes to high-speed rail. He said it best: The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency. However, we do have the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield.  Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it.”

For the full transcript of the State of State address:

Melissa Barton
Melissa Barton
Melissa Barton is the Government Relations Program Coordinator for the AIA California Council. She worked for the AIACC previously as a program coordinator for the California Architectural Foundation. After leaving the Council she worked for the Local Government Commission, coordinating events and programs. That experience coupled with her time working with local prominent lobbyist groups, serves her role well when on monitoring regulatory agencies for issues impacting the architectural profession.

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