As some of you may not have heard, last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown put the axe to all state employee travel that is not “mission critical” to the operation of California government.
As part of the governor’s program to address the state’s budget woes, Brown said that “Now is not the time to attend conferences, travel to meetings, or take out-of-state field trips,” adding that some inspectors, auditors, tax collectors and others will still be allowed to ply their trades throughout the state. But travel deemed essential now must be approved by agency and department heads. Moreover, Brown’s order requires that all out-of-state trips must receive approval from the governor’s office.
So one question is whether the California embargo is an isolated event, or whether it will be picked up elsewhere. How about other California governmental jurisdictions, for instance?
What, then, if this stance is adopted by other states faced with similar fiscal problems…and perhaps their subordinate fiefdoms as well?
I’m heading off for WasteExpo in Dallas next week, where I suspect this will be one of many topics of discussion, and I’ll report back on my findings. But what does this portend for WASTECON—in fact all of SWANA’s symposia—where Californians of all different stripes make up a significant portion of the attendees?
Unlike Gov. Brown, I think that events such as conferences and meeting are truly important to the waste industry and the public it serves, so I will be interested in hearing whether you see this as a challenge and, if so, what we might do to meet it.