California Governor Bans Meetings for State Employees

Citing his state's ongoing financial crisis, California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued an executive order banning "non-essential" travel — in-state and out-of-state travel that is not "directly related to enforcement responsibilities, audits, revenue collection or other duties required by statute, contract or executive directive" — by state employees, his office announced last month.

According to Brown's office, "travel to attend conferences, networking opportunities, professional development courses, continuing education classes, meetings that can be conducted by video or teleconference, or other non-essential events will not be permitted or paid for by the state."

Henceforth, only "mission-critical" travel will be allowed. All in-state-mission-critical travel must be approved by agency secretaries or department head and all out-of-state travel must be approved by the governor's office, which must receive with all requests a written explanation of why the travel is mission-critical, as well as the length of the trip, the projected cost and source of funding, the number of travelers, the role of each traveler in the trip, the benefit to the state, the impact if the trip is denied, whether the goal of the trip can be met in a less costly manner and whether a traveler's absence will interfere with regularly assigned duties.

"Our fiscal challenges demand that we take a much closer look at how taxpayer dollars are being spent within state government," Brown said in a statement. "Now is not the time to attend conferences, travel to meetings or take out-of-state field trips, and this executive order puts an end to it."