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Mr. Brown’s statements highlight California’s distinction as a state of high highs and low lows. From the recession of the early 1990s to the 2001 dot-com crash to the housing collapse of a decade ago, downturns often end up being more pronounced in the state than elsewhere. The next recession, whenever it comes, will almost certainly land harder here than it does in the rest of the country. And that boom-bust pattern is especially tough on California’s budget — something that Mr. Brown, who was first elected governor more than four decades ago, knows well.

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California has accounted for about 20 percent of the nation’s economic growth since 2010, far more than its share of the population or overall output.

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Monica Almeida for The New York Times

In 2009, as the last recession took hold, California state revenue fell 19 percent, versus 8 percent for state…



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