Gov. Jerry Brown's 2012-13 budget proposal would cut state government by a few thousand jobs and consolidate nearly 50 state organizations, while avoiding furloughs.
Brown's plan would reduce the state's workforce by some 3,000 positions, mostly from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The savings would fill just a tiny fraction of the $9.2 billion budget hole projected through June 2013.
Department of Finance Director Ana Matosantos said the administration will "try to minimize the number of layoffs" by relocating employees whose positions have been eliminated, "but the total workforce will continue to go down."
The anticipated position cuts equal fewer than half the 7,600 state workers who retired through the first nine months of this year, according to the California Public Employees' Retirement System. State records show 200,000 full-time state employees received paychecks last month.
Brown didn't suggest that the Legislature restart furloughs. Contracts covering unionized workers under gubernatorial authority contained no-furlough protections, but those provisions all expire before the July 1 start of the next fiscal year.
Although that leaves open a furlough option, the governor said both before and after his election that forcing employees to take unpaid time off isn't sound policy.
The proposal Brown unveiled Thursday also cuts the number of state agencies from 12 to 10 through a series of mergers and reorganizations. The California Emergency Management Agency, for example, would lose its cabinet status and instead report directly to the governor.
Brown also suggested purging the state of 39 departments, offices, boards and commissions and wiping out nine state programs.
For example, the budget plan would ax five programs in the Department of Toxic Substances Control because "they have outlived their purposes, are underutilized, or have been superseded by other programs."