SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/–– Continuing his work to save scarce taxpayer dollars, Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday (Feb. 15) issued a hiring freeze across state government. “We have a $25 billion deficit, and we must do everything possible to save money and make government leaner and more efficient,” Brown said.
The hiring freeze is comprehensive, applying to vacant, seasonal and full and part-time positions. It prohibits hiring outside contractors to compensate for the hiring freeze, converting part-time positions into full-time positions and transferring employees between agencies and departments.
This action is part of Brown’s efforts to save money this fiscal year and to cut $363 million in operational costs next fiscal year.
“The hiring freeze will be in effect until agencies and departments prove that they can achieve these savings,” Brown said.
The order allows for limited exemptions, subject to the approval of the Governor’s Office. It permits agencies to fill positions that are critical to public safety, revenue collection and other core functions, in cases where these essential duties cannot be carried out at current staffing levels. Examples include positions that provide hands-on patient support in 24-hour care facilities and those that respond to emergencies, disasters or other life-threatening situations. The order will not prevent Brown from making senior-level appointments as he forms his new administration.
Earlier this year, Brown issued Executive Orders to cut state cell phones and the passenger vehicle fleet by 50 percent.
The text of the Executive Order is below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER B-3-11
WHEREAS, California’s significant imbalance between revenues and expenditures has resulted in an estimated budget deficit of $25.4 billion; and
WHEREAS, strong measures must be implemented to reduce costs and to regain and safeguard the trust of the people of California; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order B-1-11, issued on January 11, 2011, ordered state agencies and departments to review operational costs and to identify ways of reducing waste, redundancies and associated costs to create a more efficient and effective government, while protecting core services; and
WHEREAS, the Governor’s 2011-12 budget proposes a reduction of $363 million ($200 million from the General Fund) in state operation efficiencies and other savings; and
WHEREAS, restrictions on hiring are necessary to help achieve these savings; and
WHEREAS, these restrictions should be implemented in a manner that promotes true cost reductions, encourages better fiscal management by agencies and departments, protects the health, safety, and welfare of the State, and allows the State adequately and properly to serve the People of California,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately:
1. State agencies and departments are prohibited from filling vacant positions, regardless of the positions’ funding source, except as provided for herein. This prohibition applies to:
• Appointments of any persons not currently employed by the State, including permissive reinstatements, limited-term appointments, temporary-authorization appointments, training-and-development assignments, and retired-annuitant appointments.
• Increases in time base.
• Appointments of seasonal employees.
• Appointments of permanent intermittent employees.
• Interdepartmental transfers of current permanent or probationary employees.
2. Agency secretaries and department directors who do not report to an agency secretary are authorized to exempt the following appointments:
• Emergency appointments as specified in law.
• Mandatory reinstatements.
• Appointments of employees currently serving a temporary-authorization appointment in lieu of permanent appointment.
• Intradepartmental transfers of current permanent or probationary employees.
3. Agency secretaries and department directors who do not report to an agency secretary may request exemption for appointments that are essential to carry out the following responsibilities if the responsibilities cannot be fulfilled by existing staffing levels:
• Direct, hands-on services to clients in 24-hour care institutions.
• Emergency response and public safety defined as services and functions directly related to the preservation and protection of human life and safety; emergency and disaster response activities that are necessary to prevent, contain, or mitigate the effects of a disastrous event and minimize the loss of life or property.
• Revenue generation.
• Core functions of departments’ statutory missions.
• Essential functions that could otherwise only be fulfilled by paying existing employees more in overtime than the costs of the requested exemption.
Requests for exemptions shall be submitted to the Governor’s Office for approval in accordance with forms and instructions that will be issued by the Department of Finance.
4. State agencies and departments are prohibited from initiating or increasing personal-services contracts to compensate for the effects of these hiring restrictions.
5. The Department of Finance will work with agencies and departments to develop targets for budgetary reductions in lieu of the hiring restrictions. Departments that achieve their target budget reductions, as determined by the Director of the Department of Finance, will be exempted from the provisions of this executive order.
6. IT IS REQUESTED that other entities of State government not under my direct executive authority implement similar limitations on their appointments to reduce State expenditures.
This Executive Order is not intended to create, and does not create, any rights or benefits, whether substantive or procedural, or enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California or its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that it be given widespread publicity and notice.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 14th day of February 2011
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State