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Jerry Brown is California’s new governor

January 3, 2011 | 11:19 am

Democrat Jerry Brown has been sworn in as governor of California, promising to focus on the state's financial problems and asking Californians to prepare to make hard choices about what they want from their state government.

Brown took the oath of office at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento on Monday, a few blocks from the Capitol. He will celebrate with an afternoon party at the California State Railroad Museum. Amid the state's budget crisis, the cost of the reception was kept to around $100,000, administration officials say.

The last time the state celebrated the swearing-in of a governor, at the start of Arnold Schwarzenegger's second term, the event cost more than $2 million.

Brown becomes only the second governor in California history to serve a third term. Earl Warren, who was governor from 1943 to 1953, was elected to three terms but left in the middle of his final term, when he was appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by President Dwight Eisenhower.

Brown is the first governor to serve non-consecutive terms. He was previously governor from 1975 to 1983.

Brown has provided few details about his plans to lift the state out of its continuing budget problems. On Jan. 10, he will unveil his first budget, which is expected to call for billions in cuts to state services.

Lawmakers and Capitol staffers briefed by the new administration say Brown plans to ask California voters to extend billions in sales, income and vehicle taxes in a special election later this year.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photos: Jerry Brown inaugurated as California governor