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California governor orders statewide hiring freeze due to budget crisis

02-16-2011 15:56 BJT

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Facing a worsening budget crisis, California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday issued a hiring freeze across the state government.

The move is part of the governor's efforts to save scarce taxpayer dollars this fiscal year and to cut 363 million dollars in operational costs next fiscal year, Brown's Press Office said in a news release.

The hiring freeze is comprehensive, applying to vacant, seasonal and full and part-time positions, according to the release.

The freeze 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, said the release.

California's significant imbalance between revenues and expenditures has resulted in an estimated budget deficit of 25.4 billions, Brown said.

"We must do everything possible to save money and make government leaner and more efficient," he said. "Strong measures must be implemented to reduce costs and to regain and safeguard the trust of the people of California."

The governor's 2011-12 budget proposes a reduction of 363 million dollars in state operation efficiencies and other savings.

Restrictions on hiring are necessary to help achieve these savings, the governor said.

"The hiring freeze will be in effect until agencies and departments prove that they can achieve these savings."

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, according to the release.

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.

Soon after taking office earlier this year, Brown issued executive orders to cut state cell phones and the passenger vehicle fleet by 50 percent.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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