Gov. Jerry Brown called for stronger ties between California and China, announcing Thursday that he plans to lead a trade and investment trip in April and open a trade office in Shanghai.
The announcement came during Brown's State of the State Address, in which he touted the strength of California's rebounding economy, promised fiscal discipline 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 temporary tax hikes from the recently approved Prop. 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 the topic of 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 water tunnels underneath the Delta, designed to improve ecology and ease water supplies to the 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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