SACRAMENTO (CN) – California lawmakers approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s reorganization of the executive branch, which he calls “the most comprehensive overhaul of state government in decades.”
The plan cuts the number of executive state agencies from 12 to 10 and eliminates or consolidates dozens of departments, according to Brown’s office. To achieve this, five existing state agencies will merge into three super agencies: Government Operations Agency; Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; and Transportation Agency.
“Currently, many unrelated departments – like Caltrans, the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Financial Institutions – are housed together, while many related programs are scattered throughout different agencies,” Brown’s office said in a statement. “In many cases, departments and programs are duplicative. The governor’s plan changes the reporting relationships of dozens of entities to improve coordination and efficiency. This will ultimately make government more responsive to the public.”
Administration of state operations, including procurement, technology and human resources, now falls to the new Government Operations Agency. The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency provides licensing and oversight of industry, businesses and professionals.
The Transportation Agency aligns California’s current transportation hodgepodge into one streamlined entity. It includes both California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the beleaguered High-Speed Rail Authority, a Brown pet project that voters approved in 2008 but has since more than doubled in price – without a single foot of track being laid.
“This far-reaching plan will make government more effective and will reduce wasteful spending,” Brown said in a statement.
The plan contains no significant cost savings, but the governor hopes to see savings down the road through increased efficiency.
The state’s Little Hoover Commission unanimously approved Brown’s plan in May and sent it to the Legislature for review. Since neither house held a vote to reject it, the plan became effective July 3. The governor’s office said the reorganization will be fully operational by July 1, 2013.