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California Travel Ban Saves State $85 Million

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CALIFORNIA TRAVEL BAN
AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's travel ban has saved California taxpayers at least $85 million since he took office, state officials announced Thursday.

The governor's office released travel figures showing the state spent $144 million during Brown's first fiscal year in office compared to $229 million during former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's final year in office for a 37 percent reduction.

"Putting California's fiscal house in order means cutting wasteful spending at all levels and acting as vigilant guardians of taxpayer dollars," said the Democratic governor in a statement.

Brown issued an executive order in April 2011 banning discretionary travel for state employees as part of a series of money-saving moves. He also cut state-issued cellphones, vehicles and trinkets.

The largest savings came in the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which cut $63 million.

Spokesman Jim Evans said the agency that oversees the Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol and Department of Motor Vehicles focused on "mission critical" travel and reduced the number of workers traveling.

Brown's travel ban applied to all state agencies under his authority but did not include California's two public pension systems, public universities or other statewide elected officials.

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