LOS ANGELES - California Gov. Jerry Brown said he's committed to paying down the state's debts and establishing a solid rainy day fund to help maintain the state's fiscal stability in his State of the State Address on Wednesday.
He also highlighted the state's "comeback," reporting that there's been a million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions, and a minimum wage rising to $10 an hour.
But, he said, California is not out of the woods yet.
"Life is uncertainty, the climate is changing - not for the better - and the business cycle and the stock market are historically volatile, with good years followed by bad, with painful regularity," Brown said. "And while we know our revenues will fluctuate up and down, our long-term liabilities are enormous and ever growing."
Such liabilities include over $100 billion for pensions owed to state workers, teachers, and judges, tens of billions needed to cover retiree health care, and $65 billion needed to maintain and repair the state's roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.
The state will also need to account for future risks that could negatively affect future budgets like congressional decisions, natural disasters, and the uncertain costs of the Affordable Care Act.
Brown's speech comes just days after his declaration of a drought state of emergency. In his address he urged all Californians to conserve water, and laid out the key elements of California's long-term water plan.
Water recycling, expanded storage, and serious groundwater management must be part of the plan, he said, as well as making investments in safe drinking water, wetlands and watershed restoration, and further progress on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.