The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 5, 2012
Jerry Brown's budget eliminates 3,000 state jobs, axes agencies

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 080811 Jerry Brown.JPGGov. Jerry Brown's new budget plan would eliminate a few thousand state jobs and consolidate or ax nearly 50 state organizations, according to documents released this afternoon.

Brown's first draft of the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year that begins July 1 envisions reducing the state workforce by some 3,000 positions, mostly from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The cuts fill a small part of the $9.2 billion budget hole projected through June 2013.

When asked whether state workers could expect layoffs or job elimination through attrition, Department of Finance Director Ana Matosantos said the goal is "reductions in positions."

The administration will "try to minimize the number of layoffs" by relocating employees whose positions have been eliminated, Matosantos said during an afternoon press conference. "But the total workforce will continue to go down."

The budget proposal doesn't include state worker furloughs. Contracts covering more than half the 200,000 unionized workers under gubernatorial authority contain no-furlough protections in exchange for one unpaid day off per month, but those provisions expired last year. Several unions that signed similar contracts with Brown last year still have the furlough-free guaranteed for a few more months.

That left open the possibility that Brown could have suggested the Legislature impose furloughs again. But the governor and his administration have consistently signaled that they don't think furloughing is sound policy.

Brown's budget plan reduces the number of state agencies -- cabinet-level organizations that oversee departments -- from 12 to 10. Brown also wants to eliminate 39 state entities and wipe out nine state programs.

Brown wants to ax the California Volunteer Agency. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named the first secretary to the agency in 2008 to "encourage volunteerism in California and to improve coordination of volunteer efforts between the state's departments and agencies," according to the volunteer agency's website. The agency's functions (and federal funding) are proposed to continue through the Office of Planning and Research.

The California Emergency Management Agency which prepares for a responds to emergencies, would also vanish under Brown's plan by reducing it to an office that reports directly to the governor.

Here's a list of Brown's consolidation proposals:

New: The Business and Consumer Services Agency
Will include: The departments of Consumer Affairs, Housing and Community Development, Fair Employment and Housing, Alcoholic Beverage Control, and "the newly restructured Department of Business Oversight."

New: The Government Operations Agency
Will include: The departments of General Services, Human Resources, Technology, the Office of Administrative Law, the Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Teachers' Retirement System, the State Personnel Board, the Government Claims Board and the newly restructured Department of Revenue.

New: The Transportation Agency
Will include: The departments of Transportation, Motor Vehicles, the High-Speed Rail Authority, the Highway Patrol, the California Transportation Commission and the Board of Pilot Commissioners.

The budget also:

• Eliminates the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. Their services will be spread among several offices and departments.

• Eliminates the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board and transfers its services to the Department of Health Care Services.

• Eliminates the Rehabilitation Appeals Board.

• Moves the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery to Cal EPA.

• Eliminates the Department of Boating and Waterways and moves its duties to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

• Consolidates the tax collection functions of the Employment Development Department with the Franchise Tax Board in a new Department of Revenue.

• Consolidates the Department of Corporations and the Department of Financial Institutions, which both license and regulate businesses, into a new Department of Business Oversight.

• Moves the following organizations into the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development: the Infrastructure Bank, the Film and Tourism commissions, the Small Business Centers and the Small Business Guarantee Loan Program.

• Transfers the Housing Finance Agency into the Department of Housing and Community Development.

• Eliminates the Office of Traffic Safety and transfers its function, distributing federal grants to state and local entities, to the DMV.

• Consolidates investigations and compliance functions of the Gambling Control Commission to the Department of Justice.

Click here to download Brown's 2012-13 budget. Scroll down to page 27, "Making Government More Efficient," to read more about Brown's plan to streamline the state bureaucracy.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown / Sacramento Bee file, 2010

Editor's Note: This post was updated to explain the transfer of volunteer agency functions to the Office of Planning and Research. Updated at 6:45 p.m., Jan. 5, 2012.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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