INAUGURAL ADDRESS, RONALD REAGAN, 33rd GOVERNOR of CALIFORNIA, Republican, (1967-1975)

 

JANUARY 2, 1967

 


Mr. President, Mr. President Pro Tem, Mr. Speaker and Members:

 

It is indeed an honor for me to be here today and let me assure you I am looking forward to meeting with you not only jointly but also as individuals as collectively we work together to meet and solve the tremendous problems that confront this great and growing state.

 

The people of California last fall took a major step in helping the executive and the legislative branches deal with these problems.

 

Just as it was necessary to revise and revamp the Constitution to allow the Legislature the opportunity to function better and more efficiently, so do I believe that substantial reorganization of the executive branch is necessary if we are to serve the people efficiently and economically.

 

The state government has increased in size enormously in recent years. It is my intention to reduce the executive branch as much as is consistent with the effective provision of needed governmental services.

 

The agency plan adopted in 1961 was designed to enable the Governor to transmit his policies to the many agencies of the state government effectively and quickly and to ensure that those policies would be adopted in a coordinated way. These results have not been achieved.

 

The only way governmental services can be provided in a useful, effective and economical way is through coordinated action of a unified, well-organized executive branch carrying out policies established after proper consultation with all who are affected. Our executive branch cannot operate in this way unless the many agencies, bureaus and departments are grouped together in a logical manner and their day-to-day activities are coordinated by executives operating out of the Governor's office.

 

I also believe that far more effective fiscal control and management can be obtained if we have a Director of the Budget working out of the Governor's office, performing overall review of programs, budgets and expenditures.

 

It is my hope, too, that such an officer will speed adoption of program budgeting by all agencies so that we will have a far better idea of how much particular activities of government are costing the state on a year-to-year basis, and whether or not we might not obtain more for our money.

 

I am convinced both by the unanimity of the recommendations that have been made over the years and by the logic of the proposal itself that we should consolidate all of our tax collecting agencies into a responsible, streamlined Department of Revenue with a director appointed and removable by the Governor and removable for cause by the Legislature.

 

Proposition 1-A, which was adopted by the voters by an overwhelming margin, authorized the Legislature to grant to the Governor the duty to draft plans to reorganize the executive branch of the state, and it is my earnest hope that the Legislature will adopt legislation allowing us to proceed with this vitally needed work as soon as possible.

 

I recommend that we follow the Hoover Commission model under which these reorganization plans, once drafted, will take effect unless disapproved by a vote of both houses of the Legislature.