Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday banned state employee travel that is not "missioncritical," the latest in a series of measures to reduce spending and convince voters of his frugality.
Brown prohibited traveling to conferences, including in-state gatherings, and to meetings that can be conducted by video or phone.
"Our fiscal challenges demand that we take a much closer look at how taxpayer dollars are being spent within state government," Brown said in a release. "Now is not the time to attend conferences, travel to meetings or take out-of-state field trips and this Executive Order puts an end to it."
The order comes as Brown visits cities outside Sacramento to promote his budget plan. It will not affect those trips.
Brown, who flies on Southwest Airlines, will "continue to have a presence throughout the state," spokesman Evan Westrup said.
California's previous two governors, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, also issued orders curbing nonessential travel. Westrup said Brown's is more restrictive, eliminating, for example, the practice of swapping a new trip for one that already has been approved.
Brown's office said the order will likely result in millions of dollars in savings. It said it will have a better estimate once travel requests are submitted next month.
The Democratic governor, facing a now-$15.4 billion budget deficit, has recalled thousands of state-issued cellphones and cars, banned the purchase of trinkets and froze hiring, among other popular, heavily symbolic measures.
California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said Brown is "tinkering" with small, if necessary, savings while "not dealing with major reforms or major reductions in spending that are sitting right in front of him."
Brown is seeking Republican support for a ballot measure to extend higher taxes on vehicles, income and sales. Republican lawmakers have demanded pension, regulatory and other government changes.
Brown's order requires all in-state travel to be approved by agency secretaries or department directors and all out-of-state travel to be approved by the Governor's Office.