SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointments of three agency secretaries ahead of the most comprehensive overhaul of state government in decades.
The Governor appointed Marybel Batjer, 58, of Reno, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency; Anna Caballero, 59, of Salinas, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; and Brian Kelly, 44, of Sacramento, Secretary of the Transportation Agency.
The Governor’s Reorganization Plan, which cuts the number of state agencies from 12 to 10 and eliminates or consolidates dozens of departments and entities, was approved by the Little Hoover Commission in May 2012 and the Legislature in June 2012.
Effective July 1, 2013, five existing state agencies will be replaced by the following three:
• The Government Operations Agency, which will be responsible for administering state operations, such as procurement, information technology and human resources;
• The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, which will be responsible for licensing and oversight of industries, businesses and other professionals; and
• The Transportation Agency, which will align all of the state’s transportation entities.
Batjer, the new Secretary of the Government Operations Agency, has been vice president of public policy and corporate social responsibility at Caesars Entertainment Corporation since 2005. She served as cabinet secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2003 to 2005, chief of staff for Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn from 2000 to 2003 and undersecretary at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1997 to 1998. Batjer was chief deputy director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing from 1992 to 1997 and special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Navy from 1989 to 1992. She was a national security affairs special assistant for President Ronald Reagan and deputy executive secretary for the National Security Council from 1987 to 1989. Batjer was assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1987 and director of political planning for the National Women’s Political Caucus from 1980 to 1981. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,250. Batjer is a Democrat.
Caballero, the new Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, has served as Secretary of the California State and Consumer Services Agency since 2011 and was a California State Assemblymember representing the 28th District from 2006 to 2010. She was the executive director of Partners for Peace, a non-profit specializing in violence prevention work, from 2000 to 2006. Caballero was mayor of Salinas from 1998 to 2006 and served on the Salinas City Council from 1991 to 1998. She was a partner at Caballero Matcham and McCarthy from 1995 to 2007 and at Caballero Govea Matcham and McCarthy from 1982 to 1995. Caballero was a staff attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance Inc., representing farm workers in consumer matters, from 1979 to 1982. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,250. Caballero is a Democrat.
Kelly, the new Secretary of the Transportation Agency, has served as acting secretary at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency since 2012, where he was undersecretary in 2012. He was executive staff director for Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg from 2008 to 2012 and executive principal consultant for Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2004 to 2008. Kelly was principal consultant for Senate President pro Tempore John Burton from 1998 to 2004 and assistant consultant for Senate President pro Tempore Bill Lockyer from 1995 to 1998. He was a field representative for the California Senate Democratic Caucus from 1994 to 1995. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,250. Kelly is a Democrat.
Currently, unrelated departments – like Caltrans, the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Financial Institutions – are housed together, while related programs are scattered throughout different agencies. In many cases, departments and programs are duplicative. The Governor’s plan changes the reporting relationships of dozens of entities to improve coordination and efficiency and make government more responsive to the public.
According to the Little Hoover Commission, the Governor’s plan represents the most ambitious of the 36 reorganizations they have reviewed since 1968.