Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday called for stronger ties between California and China, announcing he will lead a trade and investment trip to that country in April and the state will open a trade office in Shanghai.
The announcement came during Brown's State of the State Address. He touted the strength of California's rebounding economy, promised fiscal discipline with Proposition 30 funding and compared high-speed rail to "The Little Engine That Could."
"Two years ago they were writing our obituary," Brown said. "Well, it didn't happen. California is back, our budget is balanced and we're on the move."
Brown brought up some of the same points mentioned during his budget announcement two weeks ago — namely that funding from the recently approved Proposition 30 must be spent wisely and that poor schools deserve more supplemental funding than those in well-off areas.
"Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice," Brown said to applause from the legislators in attendance.
On high-speed rail, Brown described some of the first sections of track that will be built, and said construction will "finally" start this year.
"Yes, it's bold, but so is everything about California," he said, noting similar high-speed rail systems in other countries.
Brown also called for a system of two 30-mile-long, 40-foot-wide tunnels under the Delta, designed to improve ecology and ease water supply south.
He said the project would cost about $14 billion, the same as the London Olympics, but would have a lasting benefit on the state.
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