It’s Baaack: Another Government Code Section 12015 Year

Buried in the “Legislative, Judicial and Executive” section of the multiple phonebook-sized state budget is $890,000 to carry out “the duties described under the provisions of Government Code Section 12015 and 12015.5.”

Those two sections describe the process of transitioning from one governor to another, a process that begins November 3.

The money, contained in Section 0730 of the budget, is split with $120,000 going to departing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and $770,000 to whomever Californians choose to be the new occupant of the Capitol’s corner office. 

By comparison, the budget for the governor’s 185-employee office is $16 million this year.  Schwarzenegger proposes a $3 million increase for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The $120,000 in transition money covers the costs of “getting papers ready to be archived” and other housekeeping chores for the GOP governor, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance.

For the incoming governor, the $770,000 basically sets up a temporary office until the January swearing-in.

“Principally, it’s office space. It’s supplies. It’s computers. It’s phone lines and maybe some temp help for the governor- elect,” Palmer said.

“By definition, its not an ongoing entitlement program. It’s giving incoming governor and staff a roof over their heads to do the work they need to staff an administration.”

Government Code Section 12015 describes the transition.

The section says “the interest of the state requires that such transitions be accomplished so as to assure continuity in the conduct of the affairs of the state government. Any disruption occasioned by the transfer of the executive power could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the state and its people.”


All “officers of the state government” should be “mindful of problems occasioned by transitions in the office of governor, take appropriate lawful steps to avoid or minimize disruptions that might be occasioned by the transfer of the executive power, and promote orderly transitions in the office of governor.”

Every state agency must furnish the governor-elect with the “information, assistance, supplies, transportation, and facilities necessary” to prepare a budget.

Because he won in a recall, Schwarzenegger went through no such transition. Former Gov. Gray Davis was voted out in October 2003 and Schwarzenegger was sworn in one month later.

After he packs the Andy Warhol of First Lady Maria Shriver and the other accoutrements of office, Schwarzenegger has the power to appoint persons to help him for a period not to exceed 60 days after he leaves office with “concluding matters arising out of his official duties during his last term.”

Traditionally, $25,000 was also included in the transition costs to pay for the office portrait of the departing governor. Gubernatorial portraits going back to California’s first year of statehood 1850 decorate the Capitol’s walls.

(The official portrait of Jerry Brown is visible in the California’s Capitol masthead. Other portraits are more staid.)

Schwarzenegger declined the expense, Palmer said.

“If there’s going to be a portrait, he’ll pick up the tab.”


Filed under: Governor


  1. Because his tenure was so Wilde, the portrait is likely to be a picture of Dorian Gray.

    Comment by Normal — 2.08.2010 @ 5:21 pm

  2. I am sure the people of California will be treated with an old movie poster bought from Spencer gifts in the mall.

    Comment by Management Slug — 2.08.2010 @ 5:52 pm

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