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California Gov. Newsom criticized for pre-recording State of the State address

Gov. Newsom's decision to pre-record State of the State draws criticism
Gov. Newsom's decision to pre-record State of the State draws criticism 02:35

SACRAMENTO — California Governor Gavin Newsom's State of the State address is prompting a state of frustration for Republican legislative leaders as the governor announced that he will pre-record the speech and drop it on his YouTube channel.

The backlash is coming from the Republican side where leaders said this is a show of disrespect to the whole legislative body.

Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher called out the Governor for using a link instead of speaking directly to the legislature.

"He doesn't treat us with the kind of respect that I think is warranted to this institution," Gallagher said. "This institution is the house of the people, and he should be coming to the house of the people to talk about what's going on in our state."

California State Library spokesperson Alex Vassar said the governor is breaking a long tradition, but the California Constitution does not prevent him from pre-recording the address.

"So the requirement is outlined in the state Constitution and there is nothing that requires the governor to appear anywhere or give any sort of speech," Vassar said. "He just has to provide a report to the legislature."

Governor Earl Warren began delivering the State of the State to the California Legislature in the 1940s. Governor Ronald Reagan- gave his 1971 address to legislators even while battling the flu.

Governor Newsom seemed to be carrying on the tradition when he took office in 2019. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, he has changed venues, even delivering his 2021 remarks from an empty Dodgers stadium.

In 2023, he toured the state with his State of the State speech.

"I think some people are glossing this over," Gallager said. "It's a big deal."

Now, this year, following a multi-billion dollar deficit and divide over crime laws and homeless spending, there will be no venue—only a video link.

The Governor's Office laid out the framework for his speech and said he would be focusing on issues like homelessness, mental health, and public safety.

The 2024 State of the State address will be posted to the governor's YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on June 25.

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