Jerry Brown campaigned on being fiscally conservative, so it was no surprise that what has been in the past a day of fanfare was this time a very low key affair. That meant no paid entertainment and no limousines. Brown's inaugural lunch consisted of hot dogs on the steps of the state capitol. The governor elicited a few laughs even while being sworn in by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
Tani Cantil-Sakauye: "That I take this obligation freely…"
Brown: "That I take this obligation freely…"
Cantil-Sakauye: "Without any mental reservations…"
Brown: "Without any mental reservations…"
Brown: "Really, no mental reservations." laughter ...
Brown's 16 minute speech focused mostly on the state's spending plan, and a call for bipartisanship in dealing with it.
"There's no other way forward. In this crisis we simply have to learn to work together as Californians first, members of a political party second."
California's budget is estimated to fall short by as much as 28 billion dollars, and Brown has promised not to raise taxes without voter approval. He's been working on his budget plan since just after the election.
"It's a tough budget for tough times. When dealing with a budget gap in the tens of billions I must point out that it's far more than waste and inefficiency that we have to take out."
Among the crowd of 3000 that filled Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium were outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former governor Gray Davis. So were U-S Representative Nancy Pelosi and U-S Senator Diane Feinstein, who says she's happy to assist Brown.
"Well I'll help him in any way I can, probably the help will be federal money, and that's very difficult. That's going to be down substantially."
Brown has until January 10th to present his budget proposal. He'll also be appointing members of his office staff over the next several weeks.