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browndinner.jpgEver since Gov. Jerry Brown failed in budget talks two years ago to soften Republican lawmakers' resistance to higher taxes - a shortcoming Brown overcame with a ballot initiative in November - the Democratic governor has occasionally lamented the ineffectiveness of his social graces

"I poured a lot of good wine," Brown said last year. "I had them over to the loft ... but it didn't make any difference."

On Monday night, Brown dined once again with members of California's minority party - this time at the historic governor's mansion in Sacramento. The meeting is part of a series of dinners Brown is hosting for lawmakers this year, as the Legislature convenes its largest freshman class since 1966.

Brown is seeking legislative support for his budget plan and a variety of policy initiatives, including overhauling California's K-12 funding system and the state's signature environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act.

Brown first met with a group of Democrats at the mansion in January. For the Republicans' turn on Monday, Brown posted a photograph on Facebook and a message that belied any lingering hard feelings: "In the Governor's mansion, breaking bread with good friends!"

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican lawmakers sit down for dinner at the historic governor's mansion in Sacramento on Monday, March 11. Posted on Facebook by Brown.



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