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Gov. Jerry Brown this morning ordered state agencies to stop buying key chains, coffee mugs and other swag, saying the state spent $7.5 million on such items from 2007 to 2010.

"Not a cent of taxpayer money should be spent on flashlights, ashtrays or other unnecessary items, most of which likely end up in landfills," Brown said in a prepared statement. "Every taxpayer dollar we save by cutting waste is a dollar than can be used to pay for critical public safety and social services."

The order follows measures by the Democratic governor to recall thousands of state-issued cell phones and to reduce the state vehicle fleet in California's budget crisis. He ordered a hiring freeze this week.

Brown, seeking to close a $26.6 billion budget deficit through cuts and tax extensions, faces a budget deadline next month.

Brown said in his order that state agencies spent $7.5 million on "items including key chains, squeeze toys, pens, hats, trinkets, shirts, cups and other gift items known colloquially as 'S.W.A.G,' or 'Stuff We All Get.'"

Brown's office said the majority of spending on swag, $5.1 million, was by the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

Video: SWAG on display in the governor's office. David Siders/The Sacramento Bee


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