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Brown Says State Facing Unprecedented Inequality

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown addresses California School Employees Association members during the group’s annual convention on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

With the November election just three months away, Governor Jerry Brown is starting to show signs of campaigning. Brown used a speech today to address the country’s widening income gap.

Brown faced a welcoming crowd during a speech to the California School Employees Association. He took the opportunity to tout some of his union-friendly accomplishments, and thank the group for its work to get last year’s tax increase passed.

But Brown said the state is also facing unprecedented economic inequality. And he noted a recent analysis by the bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s found the country’s growing wealth gap could hurt the economy.  

“I think now we have official approval of progressive, more egalitarian politics coming right out of Wall Street," he says.  

Brown pointed to California’s recent minimum wage increase and its effort to sign more people up for healthcare as examples of the state fighting the income gap.

Brown has faced criticism from his Republican opponent Neel Kashkari, who says the governor has not done enough to create jobs or address poverty in the state.