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Text of Gov. Deukmejian's 1988 State of the State Address

January 07, 1988

The following is the text of Gov . George Deukmejian's sixth State of the State address:

Lt. Gov. McCarthy, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tem, members of the Legislature, fellow constitutional officers, members of the Supreme Court, ladies and gentlemen.

When we met here last year, we were joined by a courageous public servant of great distinction. This year, our friend, Jesse Unruh, is not with us, and we miss him. But his dedication to the craft of politics and his commitment to California lives on in our hearts and our minds.

Jess wouldn't have wanted us to linger on the past, and I won't do that today. Yet, I would like to thank this Legislature for making 1987 a year of productive partnership here in the state Capitol.

I am hopeful that in 1988 we will continue to work on the same team: team California. The place to begin is by confirming a new state treasurer, a man of unquestioned integrity, intelligence and fairness, Congressman Dan Lungren.

As we look at the state of the state tonight, we see a California that has never been stronger, a state that continues to outperform the rest of America and most other nations.

We recently passed Great Britain to become the sixth largest economic power in the world. In fact, the 28 million people of California outproduce the 1 billion people of China.

In the 1980s, California alone has created more jobs than all of Western Europe. Even though our population has grown by 3.5 million people since 1982, the unemployment rate has been cut by more than half, to its lowest level in 18 years.

California continues to be a powerful magnet for the best and the brightest. Since 1977, over half of all the computer chip companies opened anywhere in the world, opened their doors right here in California. We are home to three of America's top five graduate schools and five of the top 10 electrical engineering schools. More engineers and scientists are working here than in any other state--in fact, we have more than the next two states, New York and Texas, combined.

If our economic vitality gives us an unmatched leadership edge, so does our strategic location as the tide of progress and prosperity sweep westward to the Pacific Rim. No one is in a better position than California to compete in the growing economies of Asia, Mexico and Canada, which together represent a $3-trillion market that is growing at the rate of $3 billion a week.

California is clearly more than just a state. We are a super power of prosperity. If I may paraphrase the title of that classic Jimmy Stewart movie that many of us saw again during the holiday season--"It's a wonderful state."

Yet it was Will Rogers who said, "Even if you are on the right track, you can still get run over if you just stand still."

We will not stand for standing still. While California can congratulate itself for all it has achieved, we must not allow the applause ringing in our ears to drown out the approaching footsteps of the competition. Today, we face stiff competition not only from other states but from other nations.

Tough competition is not our only challenge. So is growth. When I first came to Sacramento as a new member of the Assembly, New York still surpassed California in population. But by the year 2000, we will have 33 million residents, which will be double the population of New York. For us, it's not a question of growth vs. no-growth. It's a question of solutions vs. no solutions, and how we grow and how we handle this problem will be very important in terms of our future prosperity and whether or not we sacrifice the quality of life.

So as California approaches a new century, I see no cause for either excessive complaining or complacency. The opportunities awaiting us have never been greater. But the challenges confronting us have never been tougher. Our mission is to keep California on top in a world of growth and competition. With common-sense policies from government, and a 100% commitment to quality from the people, California can enter the new century as America's high-performance state.

We must begin at the beginning--in our schools. In our past five budgets, we have increased funding for our K-12 schools by 65% at a time when our enrollment increased by 11%. Tomorrow, I will submit a new budget to the Legislature which contains nearly $1 billion in new general fund support of K-12 schools. However, these schools will receive $1.7 billion in new funds from all sources, resulting in the highest level of support per student in California history, even after adjusting for inflation.

We must also prepare for the fact that by the year 2000, we will have approximately 1.4 million more students to educate than we do today. Therefore, I am proposing that we double our original commitment to school construction bonds in 1988 from $800 million to $1.6 billion.

Yet the future of our schools depends not just on the quantity of cash, but on the quality of the commitment to learning.

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