Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 – 12:00 am

Later this week, Jerry Brown will walk into the Capitol’s Assembly chambers and deliver an address that’s more or less required by the state constitution.

Actually, Article 5, Section 3, only requires that “the governor shall report to the Legislature each calendar year on the condition of the state and may make recommendations.”

Governors have complied by addressing the Legislature each January, but these speeches only lightly touch on the “condition of the state” as a whole and are usually just platforms for expounding on the incumbent’s legislative agenda, especially his budget.

Over Brown’s 11 years as governor – in two stints separated by almost three decades – his State of the State addresses have ranged from brief and perfunctory to, more recently, sweeping monologues on history and philosophy, punctuated with Latin phrases.

This year’s version will likely set the tone for Brown’s final campaign for governor – as an advocate for educational reform, for paying down debt, and for building two big public works projects.

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