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Jerry Brown to lay out vision for state's long-term future

January 24, 2013 |  7:00 am

When Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his State of the State address in Sacramento on Thursday, there will be something missing from his agenda for the year ahead -– cuts.

Boosted by voter-approved tax cuts last fall, the governor no longer has to wrestle with short-term budget shortfalls.

Instead, his focus will be on a long-term vision for the state’s future. While Brown will urge restraint on certain state spending, he will seek billions in new bonds for the state’s aging water delivery system, call for long-term investments in higher education and continue to champion a controversial bullet train.

The speech may also be something of a victory lap for Brown, who has in recent appearances celebrated the state’s fiscal recovery, as the national narrative of California as a failed state begins to change.

But dangers lie ahead. Uncertainty in the national and global economy could sink the state’s fragile recovery. Brown will have to urge restraint among Democrats eager to restore funding for various state programs. And billions in outstanding debts continue to be a drag on the state’s long-term fiscal health.

The address begins at 9 a.m. You can stream it live on the California Channel.

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-- Anthony York in Sacramento

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