WASHINGTON (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has a message for Republican governors planning to visit California to woo business from the state: Welcome.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is the latest governor to say he's planning a recruiting trip to California. A letter he sent to shipping companies in the state takes shots at Brown's "tax and spend administration."
Brown, a Democrat, says the governors should "come on out and make your case" but California is growing faster than the national average.
Brown cited a recent report from Bloomberg calling California the best state for business. The report looked at the market returns for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that are headquartered in the nation's five largest states. The California companies returned 134 percent since January 2011.
"Republicans say don't deal with climate change, don't deal with immigrants, don't do the Affordable Care Act, don't tax high-income people. California is doing all of that and we're prospering," Brown said.
Brown's comments about the state's economy came during a news conference he called Friday after visiting with senior White House officials. This is not the first time he's been confronted with a Republican governor barnstorming California and badmouthing the state's business climate. In 2013, Texas Gov. Rick Perry bragged about how Austin was poised to become the next Silicon Valley.
"That fellow from Texas who is running for president and some of these other people, come on out and make your case," Brown said.
While many companies in California such as Apple and Google are helping to drive the state's economy forward, it's not without problems and many people are struggling. The U.S. Census Bureau has pegged the state's supplemental poverty rate 23.4 percent, the highest in the nation. The measurement goes beyond income and takes into account factors such as the cost of living and taxes.
Brown said he was using the trip to Washington to meet with officials about climate change, water and health care. He also defended President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, calling them within the law and trying to help hard-working people.
Obama's administration is trying to spare from deportation millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally. California is one of 14 states plus the District of Columbia that has filed a brief in support of lifting an injunction intended to stall Obama's actions.