Brown Impounds Cell Phones!

by CalWatchdog Staff | January 11, 2011 11:19 am

Anthony Pignataro:

Within hours of the news [1]breaking that Verizon will begin selling Apple’s iPhones, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-1-11, forcing 48,000 state employees to turn in their work-provided cellular phones.

“It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-fundd cell phones,” Brown said in this press release[2]. “Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding.”

According to Brown’s press release, 96,000 state employees — 40 percent of the total — are currently issued cell phones. Brown’s goal is to recall half them, saving $20 million a year, by June 1.

Of course, we’re talking about cell phones here — and their required two-year contracts — which means that deadline may not be met, which Brown acknowledged in the press release. “Because of contract obligations, it is possible that we not be able [to] 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.

Hmmm… the State of California vs. cell phone companies. If only both could lose…

JAN. 11, 2011

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