California's new governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, says he plans to push back against President Donald Trump, while at the same time making healthcare affordable to all families and bridging the urban/rural divide in the country's most populous state.
In what was a comparatively raucous affair to inaugurations of the recent past, California's 40th governor, Gavin Newsom, laid out an agenda that seemed to be all but a rebuke of President Donald Trump. Speaking to hundreds at the state capitol in Sacramento Tuesday, Newsom told attendees California is primed to be a world leader.
"You know, California has always helped write America's future. We know that the decisions we make would be important at any time," Newsom said, "but what we do today is even more consequential because of what is happening in our country. People's lives, freedoms, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe--they all hang in the balance. The country is watching us. The world is waiting on us and the future is depending on us, and we will seize the moment."
Most notably, Newsom laid out an agenda that would create the framework for a state-funded healthcare system. That system would provide coverage for more than 100,000 young people in the country illegally, reinstate a mandate that required everyone buy insurance or face fines, and give insurance subsidies to middle-class families.
"In our home, every person should have access to quality, affordable healthcare," Newsom said. "Far away judges and politicians may turn back our progress, but we will never waiver in our pursuit of guaranteed healthcare for all Californians."
Newsom, who's replacing long-time Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, thanked his predecessor for his leadership and dedication to the Golden State, but he says more work needs to be done to unite the political and partisan divides in California.
"We won't be divided between rural and urban, north, south, costal and inland. We will strive always for solidarity and face our most threatening problems together. It is with deep faith in our state and in our future that I ask you to join me in the work ahead."
Overall, much of Newsom's speech served as a preview for a proposed state budget that's expected to be released later this week. Critics have already started characterizing the new governor's priorities as being pie in the sky and too expensive; however, Republicans hold little sway in a state that seems to be moving ever further to the left.