One of Whitman’s most highly publicized and controversial policy proposals has been her suggestion to slash 40,000 workers from the state payroll – an idea she has expressed with differing levels of zeal throughout the campaign.
More often than not, she has talked about reducing the workforce through attrition. However, last year, she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she would advocate laying off 30,000 to 40,000 state workers.
“Well, I know, from my experience, that almost any organization, you can lay off 10 percent of the bureaucracy, and actually -- maybe it's easier, actually, with fewer people, and it will not be a hardship on the state. And, so, that would say that you want to lay off between 30,000 and 40,000 people.”
When asked by Los Angeles radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou whether she was “still going to lay off 40,000 state workers,” Whitman responded “Yes.”
In an interview with KNBC in Los Angeles in April, she said she would not consider rolling back collective bargaining rights for state workers. But she seemed more likely to consider the idea in a September interview with the Sacramento Bee editorial board, saying she would not take the option off the table.
Like Brown, she supports negotiating increased pension contributions from state workers and has suggested increasing the retirement age to 65. If negotiations with unions fail, she has proposed forcing pension reforms through a ballot measure.
Whitman has also proposed phasing out the current pension system for new state workers and replacing it with a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k). She has said public safety agencies would be exempted from many of her suggested reforms.
Among her more novel proposals, Whitman has said she would mandate that all state constitutional officers fly commercial, rather than taking private planes.
July 22, 2010
Hogue: Do you have an opinion on a budget situation that has government workers possibly making minimum wage?
Meg Whitman: So, my point of view on this is, I am a supporter of right-sizing the government as opposed to doing something like putting government workers on minimum wage. I can understand why the governor wanted to do that, but the first thing we've got to do is, we've got to right-size the government. The truth is we have 40,000 more people working for the state today than we did just five years ago. We've got to use technology to do more with less. So, before we went to a minimum wage, I would like to say, can't we use technology, can't we reorganize the government smartly and effectively, so we spend taxpayer money efficiently. And we have not done that. And so, what I want to do as governor, is I want to right-size the government. I want to do things more efficiently and effectively. I want to reduce fraud. You know, estimates of fraud there's $8 billion to $10 billion of fraud in Medicare, Medi-Cal, workmen's compensation, unemployment benefits, you name it. And the reason we can't find it - we don't have the technology in place. And we have got to take - the most innovative state in the country, with the heart of Silicon Valley leading the way - we've got to bring that expertise to Sacramento. So, that's the approach I'd take as opposed to putting workers on minimum wage.
Source: Hogue in the Morning (KTKZ)
Specific policy point or details