First the Cell Phones, Now This. Jeez, Pretty Soon There’ll Be No Plums Left
Governor Brown Proposes to Eliminate Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
SACRAMENTO – In another move to save taxpayer dollars, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has proposed eliminating the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
“Although state revenues have improved because of the underlying strength of California’s business climate, we’re not out of the woods yet – not even close,” Brown said. “Cutbacks in boards, commissions and other state services will continue as we work towards a truly balanced budget.”
The Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (Appeals Board) is a quasi-judicial agency created to hold hearings on disputed unemployment and disability determinations and tax-liability assessments made by the Employment Development Department.
There are seven members on the Appeals Board: five appointed by the Governor and one each from the Senate Rules Committee and Speaker of the Assembly. The annual salary of board members is $128,109 and the chair receives $132,179 per year. The Appeals Board met 14 times in 2010 and is scheduled to meet 16 times in 2011.
The Governor’s proposal, which will be included in the May Revise (IT’S A REVISION — REVISE IS A VERB) of the budget, calls for the Appeals Board to be eliminated by June 30, 2012 and will save up to $1.2 million in salary and travel costs.
Given the state’s fiscal challenges, Governor Brown will continue to closely examine the structure of state government and the utility of state boards and commissions. Earlier this week, the Governor announced a long overdue plan to merge the state’s two personnel agencies – the State Personnel Board (SPB) and the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) – into a single California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). When implemented, this plan will save at least $5.8 million.
Since taking office, Governor Brown has slashed spending in own office by more than 25 percent and ordered state agencies and departments to:
- Halt all non-essential state employee travel;
- Recover millions of dollars in uncollected salary and travel advances;
- Stop spending taxpayer dollars on free giveaway and gift items;
- Cut state cell phones and the passenger vehicle fleet in half; and
- Freeze hiring across state government.
(Editor’s Note: That’s $1.2 million — with an “m” out of a remaining budget shortfall of some $15 billion with a “b.” This action and the list of preceding actions is, however, swell symbolism.)
Filed under: Budget and Economy
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