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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 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.

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