Governor Schwarzenegger delivered his "State of the State" address yesterday and his speech was focused, appropriately so, on California's budget crisis. He offered few details about where he and the legislative leaders are with their negotiations, but we know from the 2009-10 budget proposal, also released this week, that the governor and Republican legislative leaders continue to push for environmental rollbacks as part of the budget deal. As reported recently in the LA Times and discussed by me and my colleagues on Switchboard, Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative Republicans want to push through a few infrastructure projects while ignoring their health and environmental impacts. But NRDC and our allies know that there is a better way to create jobs. This week (it's been a busy week) state Democrats released their own plan that doubles the level economic stimulus of the governor's plan and doesn't jeopardize our health or California's environment.
NRDC and our partners are identifying more and more projects every day ranging from public transportation and parks improvements to clean water and energy. These projects would create thousands of jobs and would help ensure a well-trained workforce for California's growing green economy. The governor should stick to his principle that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. There's no shortage of environmentally beneficial infrastructure projects out there. Let's move forward with a budget solution that helps the economy, creates jobs, protects the health of our children, and enhances California's treasured natural resources. We can do it and now is the time.