Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon ordered state agencies to stop buying new cars and to return any that aren't essential, a measure he said could cut the state's passenger vehicle fleet in half.
Cars that aren't needed will be sold, the governor's office said.
"There is a lot of wasteful spending on cars that aren't even driven," Brown said in a written statement. "And we can't afford to spend taxpayer money on new cars while California faces such a massive deficit."
Brown, who previously issued an executive order recalling thousands of state-issued cell phones, said in the written statement, "Fifty percent is a starting point. If we find more waste, we'll make more cuts."
The governor's office estimated there are 11,000 state passenger cars and trucks that are not used for health or public safety jobs, and about 4,500 permits allowing employees to use cars for their daily commutes.
Brown ordered departments to submit a plan for reducing vehicle fleets, requiring unnecessary cars to be sold or transferred within four months of a plan's approval.
Click here to read Brown's press release and executive order.