The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 12, 2011
From the notebook: The Justice Department cuts

Thumbnail image for 111111 axe.jpgWe never get all of what we learn into a news story, but this blog can give users the data, the notes and the quotes from the notebook that informed what was published.

Our report in today's Bee looks at the politics behind specifically mandated Department of Justice budget cuts that, if not reversed, will wind up axing 170 special agent jobs and another 30 support staff. Here's a checklist of source documents and websites that informed the story:

From the story: The agents have launched a campaign on Facebook to highlight the issue and are quick to answer media requests.
The Facebook page:

From the story: The governor didn't propose the cuts in his draft budgets, Palmer noted, but the administration "made it clear in the May revision summary what the consequences would be if we had to get to an all-cuts scenario."
The document: Governor's 2011-12 Budget May Revision (Scroll down to page 13: "The state could not afford some state public safety programs administered by the Department of Justice and other state agencies."

From the story: In a 1995 review, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's office suggested that the state should slash its funding because it "duplicates local law enforcement function."
The document: LAO Options to balance the 1995-96 budget

From the story: CSLEA backed Brown's opponent in the 2010 governor's race, Republican Meg Whitman, and Harris' GOP rival Steve Cooley.
The document: CSLEA President Alan Barcelona's Sept. 7, 2010, open letter to members explaining the union's Meg Whitman endorsement.

From the story: "It was our goal that by November 1, 2011, the Governor's Office would commit to restore funding for DLE in his 2012-2013 proposed budget to the Legislature," Harris wrote in a Nov. 2 department email obtained by The Bee.
The document: Attorney General Kamala Harris' Nov. 2 email to staff.


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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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