SACRAMENTO (AP) — Democrat Jerry Brown was sworn in Monday as California’s 39th governor, returning to the office he left 28 years ago but inheriting a much different and more troubled state than the one he led then.
The man who once was California’s most famous bachelor took the oath of office after being introduced by his wife of five years, former Gap Inc. executive Anne Gust Brown, inside Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
She held a Bible that was her grandfather’s and was used during her wedding with Brown.
Brown has predicted a grim future for the financially beleaguered state.
Where his predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressed optimism at every turn, Brown has been realistic since winning the Nov. 2 election. California has faced several years of deep budget deficits and is confronting another estimated at $28 billion through June 2012.
Its general fund is $15 billion less than it was just three years ago, reflecting a sharp drop in tax revenue from a recession that has battered the economy of the nation’s most populous state. Brown, 72, says the choices facing California’s 38.8 million people are painful ones.
Brown noted the toll the recession has taken on California and polls showing most voters believe the state is on the wrong track. He urged lawmakers of both political parties to get out of what he called their “comfort zones” and to “rise above ideology” for the good of the state.
“The year ahead will demand courage and sacrifice,” he said after taking the oath from California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
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