SACRAMENTO – California Governor Jerry Brown issued a hiring freeze across the state government on Feb. 15.

The hiring freeze is comprehensive, applying to vacant, seasonal, and full- and part-time positions. It prohibits hiring outside contractors to compensate for the hiring freeze, converting part-time positions into full-time positions, and transferring employees between agencies and departments, a release from the governor’s office stated.

“The hiring freeze will be in effect until agencies and departments prove that they can achieve these savings,” Brown said.

This action is part of Brown’s efforts to save money this fiscal year and to cut $363 million in operational costs next fiscal year. The state faces an estimated $25.4 billion deficit.

Executive Order B-3-11 allows for limited exemptions, subject to the approval of the Governor’s Office. It permits agencies to fill positions that are critical to public safety, revenue collection, and other core functions, in cases where these essential duties cannot be carried out at current staffing levels.

According to the EO B-3-11, the Department of Finance will work with agencies and departments to develop targets for budgetary reductions in lieu of the hiring restrictions. Departments that achieve their target budget reductions will be exempted from the provisions of the executive order.

In January, Brown ordered state agencies to cut the passenger vehicle fleet by half.