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1/26/2009
05:27 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Schwarzenegger's 'Restructuring' Plan Provides Comic -- Not Financial -- Relief

Since most of you are slogging through your third or fourth plan to reduce expenses in the past five months, sit back, take a deep breath, and have a laugh or two at some of the approaches the truly great state of California is taking to reduce its $40B deficit. And no, I am not making these up -- they're right from "The Governor's Road Map For More Efficient Government."

Since most of you are slogging through your third or fourth plan to reduce expenses in the past five months, sit back, take a deep breath, and have a laugh or two at some of the approaches the truly great state of California is taking to reduce its $40B deficit. And no, I am not making these up -- they're right from "The Governor's Road Map For More Efficient Government."Call this a little gallows humor, or call it offering a sense of perspective between the private sector and the public sectors. Or just compare these moves and their projected savings with the top item on the list, which is reorganizing the state's massive IT sprawl that includes up to 10,000 IT employees, 130 CIOs, and 180,000 e-mail accounts. As we noted earlier today, over five years, the state projects it will save $1.5B from that IT reorg.

But the IT overhaul is just one item in the 18-item plan Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed to "get rid of that waste and abuse and fraud and all of those kinds of things," according to a quotation from him atop the report. So when the governor decides it's time to "ask the people to go and to pay and to raise their taxes," I hope the good people of California can take some solace in knowing that Schwarzenegger has hacked deeply into that $40B deficit with the following actions (and this is verbatim from the "road map"):

  • Eliminate Department of Boating and Waterways -- Elimination of this department would result in a saving of $600,000 per fiscal year. This department would be moved into the Department of Parks and Recreation and allow for better coordination and management of projects and grants relating to boating access and safety programs.
  • Eliminate Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee -- This would result in saving of up to $165,000.
  • Eliminate Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine -- This elimination would result in a savings of up to $130,000.
  • Eliminate Telephone Medical Advice Services Bureau -- This elimination would result in a savings of up to $157,000.
  • Consolidate the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau under the board of Accountancy -- This consolidation would result in a savings of up to $102,000.
  • Consolidate the Board of Behavioral Sciences and Psychiatric Technicians under the Board of Psychology into a new board of mental health -- This consolidation would result in a savings of up to $113,000. This would allow for more consistent regulations and procedures in these interrelated boards.
  • Consolidate the Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau under the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Bureau -- This consolidation would result in a savings of up to $6,000. This would reduce duplication and allow for more streamlined and efficient processing.
  • Consolidate the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians with the Board of Registered Nursing -- This consolidation would result in a savings of up to $123,000. These boards already share enforcement staff, stakeholders, and many consumer protection issues. Consolidation would ensure consistent regulations and consumer protections.
  • By my reckoning, that's 8 items from the 18-point plan, or about 44% of the initiatives on "the road map." And the moves outlined in these 8 points will save the state -- make sure you're sitting down for a number this big -- $1,396,000. That leaves only $39,998,604,000 to go.

    So we at Global CIO offer this up as a public service in the hope that no matter how ugly your budget-cutting situation looks, California's will make it look a whole lot better. And if you think you're not cutting deep enough, just take another look at what California's proposing and you can stop worrying that Arnold will have any reason to call you a girlie man.

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