Forgive this personal note, but I want to thank Gov. Jerry Brown for, finally, taking my advice.

He’s given up on giving a State of the State speech annually—much as I suggested a couple years ago.

Yes, he gave a speech with that title on Thursday morning in Sacramento. But the speech said nothing of consequence about the state. And it offered no narrative of what the state is becoming (a basic omission at a moment of great change in Californians) or vision for the future. At this point, contempt for big visions – beyond apocalyptic warnings about deficits and climate change – is a Brown hallmark.

What the governor did give was a State of the Budget address. He talked again about the need to be prudent. And he also spent a lot of time on additional spending he has supported and the possibilities of recessions – both as ways to counteract Democratic legislators’ expected attempts to spend more in the coming budget year.

A state is more than a budget. Even the California budget, with various special funds, represents less than 10 percent of the state’s economy. And he didn’t address the heart of a state – its people, its culture, its aspirations.

As a result, Brown’s speech had little impact and received little notice. And that is just what was intended.