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rgest government overhaul set to go into effect; may someday save money

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POSTED July 2, 2012 8:15 p.m.


SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping reorganization of California state government is expected to become law Tuesday. It will be the largest reshuffling of state agencies, boards and commissions in recent state history.

The plan does not include significant cost savings, but the Brown administration hopes the housecleaning will save money down the road by increasing efficiency.

The overhaul represents the most ambitious of the 36 reorganizations the Little Hoover Commission has vetted since 1968, said Deputy Executive Director Carole D'Elia. It targets the bodies that oversee economic development, consumer services, housing, real estate and natural resources, among others.

"It's by far the biggest reorganization that we've ever been given," D'Elia said. "This is much larger and more sweeping in that it touches on more than 30 areas of government,"

Brown detailed his plan in March to the Commission, which endorsed it. The Legislature's deadline for rejecting the overhaul is Monday. Lawmakers were expected to pass a series of fix-it bills during their afternoon session.

Among other changes, the plan reduces the number of agencies from 12 to 10 and groups similar governmental bodies together. For example, Caltrans will be grouped with other transportation departments instead of with managed health care. Departments dedicated to fostering economic growth will be housed together in the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

D'Elia characterized the overhaul as a good first step toward untangling the bureaucracy created by years of unwieldy growth in state government.

"It will make it easier for the public to know where to find different organizations," she said. "Hopefully it will cut through some of the red tape."

The plan is expected to go into effect next July.


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