Gov. Jerry Brown laid out his vision of California as a state on the financial mend as well as a "land of dreams" that can become the epicenter of renewable energy development while supporting the building of major projects, such as high-speed rail.
In his second State of the State speech, which lasted 20 minutes, Brown derided critics and naysayers of the state and said California can do big things.
"Contrary to those critics who fantasize that California is a failed state, I see unspent potential and incredible opportunity," Brown said.
The governor strongly defended the high-speed rail project, which has come under fire recently for ballooning costs and a shaky business model.
"Those who believe that California is in decline will naturally shrink back from such a strenuous undertaking. I understand that feeling but I don't share it, because I know this state and the spirit of the people who choose to live here."
He also called for major public education reform, saying that power must be shifted from the state to the school districts. And he said California needs new taxes and more cuts to services so that it can completely pull itself out of its financial problems.