Brown Takes the Oath of Office, Again

In a way, you could say there were three former governors of California on hand for yesterday’s inauguration ceremony: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and… Jerry Brown.

It was the third time Brown has taken the oath to be the state’s governor. He mentioned that he was happy to be following in his father’s footsteps as governor “and, 36 years after my first inauguration as governor, even follow in my own,” he said.

At the end of his brief 17-minute speech, Brown summed it up this way: “Like our song says,” he said, “California, here I come, right back where I started from!”

Attendees included Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom.

There was a light moment during his swearing-in ceremony when Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye paused for a moment at the phrase, “without any mental reservations.”

Brown used the pause to repeat the phrase back to her: “Really,” he said, smiling, “no mental reservations.”

Any reservations, of course, would be due to the looming budget morass in California, and that quickly will be the first order of business in Sacramento, according to Senate majority leader Darrell Steinberg.

Brown is expected to release his budget proposal “early next week,” Steinberg said. And that’s when the Legislature will kick into high gear, he said.

A few hours after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday, the Assembly and Senate convened for the first time this year.

Both the Assembly and Senate sessions lasted just a few minutes, with no business conducted, except for the Assembly’s technical acceptance of AB 1 by John Perez (D-Los Angeles), which would restore $233 million of vetoed CalWORKs funding. The Assembly agreed to take up the bill on Thursday.

That legislative move took less than a minute. In fact, the time spent on adjournment in both houses took a lot longer than the actual sessions, as half a dozen legislators stood up to honor Californians who have recently died by adjourning the sessions in memory of them, including former state Senate member Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach.

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