Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday ordered government agencies to halt new car purchases and sell automobiles that are not "essential" for state business as he launched an effort to cut the number of state-owned passenger vehicles.
The governor said the state needs to reduce spending at a time when it is facing a $25.4-billion budget shortfall.
"There is a lot of wasteful spending on cars that aren't even driven," Brown said in a statement. "And we can't afford to spend taxpayer money on new cars while California faces such a massive deficit."
Brown, who drives his personal 2008 Pontiac for work, wants to make a 50% cut in the 11,000 passenger cars and light trucks used mostly by bureaucrats. The state owns 50,000 cars, trucks, vans, buses, boats and aircraft, said Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for the governor.