It seems a few too many employees were given them
It appears that one of the reasons why California has problems with its state budget is that too many civil servants were given mobile phones as a perk.
The new governor Jerry Brown decided he could save a few pennies by taking back state paid for mobiles from staff who did not really need them. It turned out that half of them did not need them and will have to give them back on June 1. However that is a total of 48,000 state government-paid mobiles which are going to be returned.
The new Democratic governor estimated that cutting the use of mobiles by state employees in half will save the state $20 million a year. The state currently pays for 96,000 cell phones, the governor added. California faces a multi-billion dollar budget deficit and it appears giving phones to staff who did not need them might be part of the reason.