SACRAMENTO (CBS) — Government-paid cell phones will be the first casualty of Gov. Jerry Brown’s cost-cutting measures.

Brown directed state agency and department heads to collect and turn in 48,000 government-paid cell phones by June 1, 2011, his first executive order since taking office last week.

Brown estimates that the state can save at least $20 million a year by cutting cell phone usage in half. The state now pays for 96,000 cell phones.

In a release from the governor’s office, Brown said that some cell phones may still be under contract with carriers, and wants to make sure that the state does not incur any early termination penalties.

“Because of contract obligations, it is possible that we may not be able eliminate all 48,000 cell phones by June 1, but it is also conceivable that we can do it earlier – and that is my hope,” Brown said in the release.

Brown’s estimate of at least $20 million in annual savings assumes that the average cell phone bill is a bit over $36 a month, which the Department of Finance has determined is the average cost.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. Sylverster Tillingsgrad says:

    ….but if you turn off all 96,000, then 4000 state employees don’t have to take a 10% pay cut

  2. $20 Million Savings? says:

    WoW! $20 millions a year savings? in that case, that back ALL 96,000 cell phones.. That’s roughly $40 millions in savings noh?

    His should consider Eliminating Overtime Pay, Welfare, & Healthcare, etc..

  3. Arthur R Spafford Jr says:

    Can you hear me now?

  4. Josh Butts says:

    Why didn’t Arnold think of that?

  5. Rollerderby79 says:

    Unfreakin believable! What else do “we” not know about??? What about car allowances? They have good paying jobs and can pay for themselves. The “freeloaders” need to stop it.

    1. bugman says:

      Bell, upper level!

  6. Reality Check says:

    If the average bill is $36 a month, that means that most of these phones aren’t being used anyway.

  7. Nicolette Monroe says:

    Well trying to elminate overtime, welfare, and health care is just not a reasonable option but eliminating government cars and car allowences would and also the amount of travel they do will also help. That alone is a big expense. With the invention of the internet it is possible to hold many meetings and trainings over the internet or conference call thus elminating the cost of flying a person, paying for their hotel and the cost to rent a car for a certain amount of days. Hello.. that makes sense right? Come on Brown!

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