As reported in this blog post, the Legislative Analyst's Office yesterday issued a report that recommended 1,500 job reductions at Caltrans, suggesting that the department's Capital Outlay Support program is overstaffed. LAO said that at the very least the Legislature should require Caltrans to provide more justification for its need to maintain 10,359 positions in its COS program.
Caltrans responded last night with this e-mailed statement:
We are in the process of reviewing the Legislative Analyst's Office report and conclusions. Caltrans is committed to ensuring that the public's tax dollars are used as effectively and efficiently as possible to build and maintain California's transportation system. We disagree that we are overstaffed at this time given the daily demands and efforts to upgrade and maintain our transportation system. This includes the implementation of Proposition 1B, the 2006 voter approved transportation bond, and the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which represents nearly 2,000 projects to date, will continue to grow, and has resulted in thousands of jobs for Californians. However, these two programs are fast approaching the end of their fiscal cycles and the Department will be re-evaluating its staffing levels to match its workload needs in the future. We are constantly working to improve our business practices while ensuring the safety of our workers and the traveling public. This review and the resulting discussions will help us continue our ongoing efforts.
Hat tip to Bee Capitol Bureau colleague Kevin Yamamura for his capable coverage of this story on Tuesday.