First to suffer from this year's budget crisis?
New Gov. Jerry Brown today ordered the collection and return of 48,000 state government-paid cell phones - half of those now in use - by June 1.
The Democratic governor estimated that cutting the use of cellphones by state employees in half will save the state $20 million a year.
"It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones," Brown said in a written statement.
The state currently pays for 96,000 cell phones, the governor added.
"Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding."
Brown's cell phone directive, his first executive order since taking office last week, directed state agency and department heads to retrieve the cell phones.
"In the face of a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, a cell phone may not seem like a big expense," Brown said. "But spending $20 million, and perhaps far more than that, on cell phones can't be justified.
Read the complete blog posting at sacbee.com