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Jerry Brown's defiant State of the State: California is still golden

With chronic budget woes engulfing California, many analysts had expected a 'gloom and doom' State of the State address from Gov. Jerry Brown. They got nothing of the sort.  

Gov. Jerry Brown walks through the Assembly to deliver his State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

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California Gov. Jerry Brown defied expectations Wednesday, delivering a State of the State speech that was unapologetically ambitious and even visionary despite a perpetual budget crisis that has, in recent years, dimmed the luster of the Golden State.

Governor Brown had been expected to use his address to further persuade voters to support a ballot initiative that asks voters to raise taxes on themselves – a last-ditch effort to solve California's chronic budget shortfalls. Instead, he attempted to rally Californians to a sense of common purpose and destiny.

The state which birthed Apple, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Twitter, Facebook, and “countless other creative companies … is still the land of dreams,” he said. “Rumors of [California’s] demise are greatly exaggerated.”

It was the platform for an exhaustive list of goals that Brown laid out for California: stimulate jobs, build renewable energy, launch the nation’s only high-speed rail system, reach agreement on a plan to fix the Delta, improve schools, reform pensions, and “make sure prison realignment is working.”


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