Hugh Pickens writes "The Sacramento Bee reports that California Governor Jerry Brown, in his first executive order since taking office, has ordered the collection and return of 48,000 state government-paid cell phones — half of those now in use — by June 1. 'It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones,' says Brown in a written statement. 'Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding.' Brown's cell phone order directs state agency and department heads to retrieve the cell phones and the governor says he plans to continue reducing cell phone usage in months ahead. 'In the face of a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, a cell phone may not seem like a big expense,' adds Brown. 'But spending $20 million, and perhaps far more than that, on cell phones can't be justified.'"