The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 10, 2011
Brown budget zeroes in on cell phones, cars and his own office

Two time-honored symbols of state excess, cell phones and vehicles, are targeted in the budget proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown this morning.

From page 7 of the introduction to the governor's 2011-12 budget (click here to open it):

Two areas of particular scrutiny will be the use of cell phones by state employees and the number of state vehicles. The state currently pays for about 96,000 cell phones, one for over 40 percent of all state employees. The Governor has set a statewide goal of reducing the number of cell phones by at least 50 percent. In addition, the Administration will reduce the number of vehicles the state maintains. There are approximately 13,600 light duty vehicles (cars, pickups, vans) in the state fleet, not including some 12,000 that are used for public safety. To reduce the number of vehicles in the state's fleet, the Administration will require each vehicle's purpose and necessity to be rejustified. Only vehicles necessary for critical state functions will be retained, and only when retaining such vehicles is cost effective.

The same introduction mentions cuts previously announced, including eliminating the Office of the Secretary of Education, cutting the Inspector General for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and trimming the governor's office budget by 25 percent.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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