Schwarzenegger Orders Hiring Freeze as Part of Budget Plan
On Tuesday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) ordered all state agencies to cut nonessential services and activities to reduce state spending by about 1.5%, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Mike Genest, Schwarzenegger's finance director, said the cuts would be carried out on a "case-by-case basis" so as to not jeopardize health care delivery or public safety (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 2/20).
The 1.5% cuts of "nonessential and nonmission-critical services" are expected to save $100 million and include:
- Hiring freezes;
- Limited travel for seminars, conferences and training;
- Reduced equipment purchases and media outreach campaigns; and
- Cancellation of some government contracts (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/20).
Schwarzenegger urged the Legislature to immediately act on budget cuts he proposed for fiscal year 2008-2009 rather than wait until May for his revised budget proposal.
However, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) said that it is unrealistic to expect to complete the budget within a month but that Democrats are willing to begin negotiations immediately (Sheppard, Contra Costa Times, 2/20). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.