LA
02/21/2011 02:52 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

California Bans State Freebies

Free key chains, coffee mugs, T-shirts, squeeze toys, it's common to give away such items.

But state agencies in California can no longer do so. Governor Jerry Brown banned such freebies to help eliminate a $25 billion budget deficit.

California is the most indebted U.S. state, Reuters reports, yet has spent millions in the last few years on such items, according to Brown.

"Not a cent of taxpayer money should be spent on flashlights, ashtrays or other unnecessary items, most of which likely end up in landfills," Brown said in a statement. "Every taxpayer dollar we save by cutting waste is a dollar that can be used to pay for critical public-safety and social services."

The cut on freebies is among several initiatives by Brown to fight California's budget deficit. He also ordered a statewide hiring freeze last week.