Sacramento, CA– Nearly 30,000 state cell phones have been shut off since January as part of a cost-cutting measure to save California millions.
The Associated Press reports that as of June 1st, Governor Jerry Brown’s administration had taken away 29,348 state cell phones, which is 44 percent of all those issued to employees in offices under the governor’s direct control.
Some departments have asked for exemptions, saying that almost 5,000 phones are needed to protect public safety, but Brown is shooting for a 50 percent cut.
The governor says that a 50 percent cut would amount to nearly 34,000 phones and save the state $13 million a year.
Wednesday’s announcement came as Brown negotiates a deal with Republican lawmakers to close a $9.6 billion budget deficit. The effort hinges in part on whether to extend temporary tax increases until voters can consider them.
Lawmakers have until June 15th to deliver a balanced budget.
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