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California Gov. Brown fights back hard on climate, immigrants and healthcare

California’s Gov. Jerry Brown didn’t shy away from the tough topics when talking Trump’s presidency during the State of the State Address on Tuesday.
Image: david mcnew/ Getty Images

Under a Donald Trump presidency, California has no plans to back down as a haven of liberal progress.

That’s what the state’s Gov. Jerry Brown told fellow lawmakers Tuesday, during a fiery speech that saw him vow to fight back fiercely at the Trump administration on issues like climate change and immigration in an “alternate universe of non-facts.”

It was the 2017 State of the State Address, but rather than just focussing on the Golden State, much of Brown’s speech revolved around how it would grapple with the new presidency. “California is not turning back not now, not ever,” Brown defiantly declared.

After talking about some of the state’s accomplishments from an unemployment rate that’s been cut in half to expanded health care coverage Gov. Brown turned away from the issues facing just California. He spoke passionately about the anxieties and dangers facing many climate change chief among them.

“The recent election and inauguration of a new president have shown deep divisions across America,” he said. “While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing. We have seen the bald assertion of ‘alternative facts.’ We have heard the blatant attacks on science.”

Brown said that the massive protests on Saturday were indicative of “a vast and inspiring fervor that is stirring in the land.”

“Democracy doesnt come from the top,” he added. “It starts and spreads in the hearts of the people. And in the hearts of Americans, our core principles are as strong as ever.”

What followed was a moving run-down of some of the biggest issues facing California, and how the state plans to tackle them under a Trump presidency.

Immigration

Gov. Brown explained how the state has legalized driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, while also opening the path to public financial aid for immigrant college students and enacting the Trust Act, which prevents jails from holding these residents for extra time so they can be deported.

“We may be called upon to defend those laws and defend them we will,” the governor said before a standing ovation. “And let me be clear: we will defend everybody every man, woman and child who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.”

Health care

Brown said that five million more Californians have health insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Repealing the law and taking away its federal funding could leave the state budget “possibly devastated.” He vowed to keep health care available to Californians but didn’t go into further detail.

Climate change

A landmark topic within the speech, climate change has already been an issue to rally around for Brown. He’s been vocal about embracing broadly accepted science and supporting its research, in the face of a presidency that might not agree. Back in December, he said of climate satellites: “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

On Tuesday, his tone was just as strong. “Whatever they do in Washington, they cant change the facts,” he said. “And these are the facts: The climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans … The world knows this.”

“The science is clear. The danger is real.”

“The science is clear. The danger is real.”

With that, he explained how California’s leading the way with environmental efforts the U.S. may leave behind under Trump.

It has already teamed up with the German state of Baden-Wrttemberg to sign on to the Under2 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) a voluntary agreement signed by 165 signatories (including individual states and provinces) representing a billion people. It could be a fall-back of environmental progress if Trump follows through on campaign promises and manages to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Gov. Brown’s speech also covered the state’s raising of the minimum wage, its reduction of prison overcrowding, increase in funding towards education and closure of a $27 billion deficit.

From there, he concluded the speech with notes of unity: “Democrats are in the majority, but Republicans represent real Californians, too.”

BONUS: Drone view of Samsung San Jose headquarters

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/24/brown-speech-on-trump/

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