4 Jan 2011

Brown becomes California's governor for third time

2:46 pm on 4 January 2011

Jerry Brown has been sworn in again as Governor of California, taking over from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mr Brown, a Democrat who served two terms from 1975 to 1983, is only the second person to lead the state for three terms.

He has warned residents to expect "shared sacrifice" as California struggles to overcome a fiscal crisis, and in his inaugural speech he called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to revive the state's fortunes.

Among his first tasks will be to present a new budget plan. The BBC reports the state faces a budget shortfall of $US28 billion over the next 18 months.

Voters may be asked to agree to the extension of temporary taxes that were brought in in 2009 and are due to expire in July.

Mr Brown, 72, defeated billionaire Republican candidate Meg Whitman in elections in November.

When he last held the governorship, he became known to some as "Governor Moonbeam" for what were then viewed as outlandish ideas.

In the intervening years, he twice pursued the Democratic nomination for President, campaigned for the US Senate and most recently served as state attorney-general.

Mr Schwarzenegger, 63, leaves after seven years at the helm. He has not yet confirmed what he plans to do next.

He was not eligible to run for governor again because of term limits.