Gov. Jerry Brown didn’t offer any new programs in his State of the State speech. Refreshing. His focus was on how we pay for the state’s current commitments.

Brown reviewed his budget talking points again on the uncertainty of economic future and the need for a strong Rainy Day Fund. No argument here.

He particularly noted that the budget reserve was necessary because of the way the California tax system is constructed. Heavy reliance on the income tax, which provides 70-percent of the state’s General Fund.

Does Brown want to engage in the difficult task of restructuring the tax system? Sen. Robert Hertzberg with his service tax plan is eager to know. But it sounded like Brown is accepting the current system and wants to have the reserve in place for rough seas, which will come.

Health care was also on the governor’s mind. He reported the large increases in costs for Medi-Cal, the state program for low-income individuals. The governor noted that in covering 13.5 million people, “In 2012, the General Fund paid $15 billion for Medi-Cal, but by 2019, that number is expected to be $25 billion, an increase of two-thirds.”

Why is one-third of the state’s population in need of Medi-Cal assistance? The legislature should think of programs not to enlarge Medi-Cal but to reduce that need for so many citizens. California business must be freed up from heavy regulations and taxes to produce more and better jobs.

The governor boasted of the 51% increase in education spending under his administration. He said the spending increase was due to the economic recovery and the passage of the Proposition 30 tax measure. With an attempt to extend Proposition 30 likely headed for the ballot, was the governor dropping his first hint that he would like to keep it on the books? He recently said amending the tax extension initiative to allow for a portion of the tax revenue to go into the Rainy Day Fund was a positive step.

On pensions and health care costs for public workers, Brown spoke of the massive financial obligations the state is under. More than just dealing with this obligation the governor and legislature should work to reduce the obligation and burden we are throwing on future generations.

On water, Brown spoke of the coming together of the parties over Proposition 1, the water bond. An important part of the bond was for new water storage. Let’s move on that faster.

Brown did advocate for a tax increase to deal with deteriorating roads and infrastructure. He wants a permanent revenue source. With all the tax proposals being considered for the ballot, is Brown hoping to deal? If he gets support for a road tax will he pledge to campaign against all other taxes?

As he opened his speech, Brown said with a laugh that he might take the millions in his campaign coffers and advance an initiative to allow a four-term governor to run again. Was that nervous laughter from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom?