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Governor Brown Cracks Down on State Cell Phones

California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to cut in half the number of cell phones issued to state workers. He's ordered state agency and department heads to turn in 48,000 phones by June. Brown says 40 percent of state employees have taxpayer-funded phones, a figure he calls “astounding.”

Mike Whiteside, engineer with Caltrans, says his cell phone is essential to do his job.
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Above: Mike Whiteside, engineer with Caltrans, says his cell phone is essential to do his job.

Mike Whiteside, engineer with Caltrans agrees with Brown’s goal of trimming spending, but said he travels quite a bit for work and his phone is necessary.

“It would really be crippling in terms of my response times, getting back to people on questions and issues, and to be honest, I may be more inclined to meet meetings and stuff like that because my staff couldn’t put them on my calendar for me and I wouldn’t know until I’m back in the office again,” said Whiteside.

Whiteside doesn’t know yet if he’ll get to keep his phone.

Gov. Brown estimates the reduction will save the state $20 million. According to the state department of finance, the average monthly cell phone bill is $36.

Comments

Avatar for user 'SDCyclist'

SDCyclist | January 12, 2011 at 11:12 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

AAA - have you been following the cuts he's been proposing? This is just one of many already in the proposed budget. His cuts are across the board. He's cutting in every area you mention - pensions, social programs, etc. You're going to see every cut you say he's not going to do. There are hundreds of articles about this on the internet. Google "Jerry Brown budget plan". Here's a good one to start with: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2011/01/jerry-brown-budget-cuts-deep-looks-to-extends-tax-hikes-reshapes-government.html

He's doing the job we elected him to do, and quickly. He's doing exactly what he said he was going to do. He's not dancing around anything at all. He's slashing, and cutting, and still people who WANT that will still criticize. I don't get that...

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Avatar for user 'A_Listener'

A_Listener | January 13, 2011 at 6:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I say keep it going - and yes... to some of the vehicles. The waste of tax dollars by local representatives AND their staff, while they tool around in state vehicles for personal use, on fully paid gas cards is sickening. Hopefully, prudent decisions will be made about who legitimately needs the tools to perform their job versus who gets them by default.

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