Move expected to save the state millions.

By Mike Luery

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Governor Jerry Brown today issued an Executive Order banning all non-essential travel for state government agencies. It’s a move designed to save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, according to Press Secretary Gil Duran.

The ban applies to both in-state and out-of-state travel – unless it is mission-critical or comes at no cost to the state. The governor’s ban prohibits travel to conferences like the one Caltrans took to the desert back in 2009 – costing taxpayers an estimated $80,000 for travel and lodging at a 4-star hotel that offered gondola rides on a manmade lagoon.

The ban means no more travel for:

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• Conferences
• Continuing education courses
• Networking opportunities
• Non-essential meetings that can be conducted by phone or video conference
• Presentations, unless approved by the department director

The ban is comprehensive and applies to all in-state travel, unless approved by agency secretaries. It also means no out-of-state travel unless approved directly by the governor’s office.

“Governor Brown is on a hunt for waste, fraud and abuse across all levels of state government,” said Gil Duran, the governor’s press secretary. In an interview with CBS 13 at the Capitol, Duran stated, “This is the latest effort in what will be a long line of continuing efforts to save as much money as possible and trim all the fat from state government,” Duran added.

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The governor’s ban takes effect immediately, as part of his budget plan to trim $413 million from state operations. Just last week, Governor Brown cracked down on uncollected salary and travel advances as part of his directive to reduce government waste.