SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – State officials say Gov. Jerry Brown’s travel ban has saved California taxpayers at least $85 million since he took office. The governor’s office on Thursday released travel figures showing the state spent $144 million during Brown’s first fiscal year in office, compared to $229 million during former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s final year in office. That’s a 37 percent reduction. Brown, a Democrat, issued an executive order in April 2011 banning discretionary travel for state employees as part of a series of money-saving moves. He also cut state-issued cell phones, vehicles and trinkets. The largest savings came in the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which cut $63 million. Spokesman Jim Evans said the agency, which oversees the California Highway Patrol and Department of Motor Vehicles, is focused on “mission critical” travel.
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