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Brown: Busted Budget Means No More California Swag

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- California agencies have been ordered to stop buying coffee mugs, key chains, water bottles and other freebies intended as promotional items.

Gov. Jerry Brown says such purchases cost the state $7.5 million a year. In announcing the ban Friday, the Democratic governor says he was shocked to learn the state spends so much on what he called "plastic gewgaws."

"We don't need this stuff," he said in ordering an end to the purchases.

Details From Reporter Nikki Medoro:

He previously told half the state's bureaucrats who have government-issued cell phones to give them up. He also has halted purchases of new state vehicles.

His austerity moves are designed to help the state save money as it tries to close a nearly $27 billion budget deficit.

Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats Friday passed a modified version of Gov. Brown's budget without Republican support.

Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield of Van Nuys acknowledges that "It is an extremely painful budget," but he says lawmakers are ready to make tough cuts and ask voters to extend tax hikes to bridge the budget deficit.

Increases to the sales, income and vehicle taxes approved two years ago are set to expire this year, but Brown wants them extended for five years.

The Democrat told reporters Friday he wants Republicans to detail cuts that are acceptable to them if they don't support putting the tax question before voters. Brown says the only plan B is double the proposed $12.5 billion in cuts.

Senate Democrats are expected to approve the governor's altered budget later Friday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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