Whitman reduces government job cuts to 33,000

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Republican governor candidate Meg Whitman, the billionaire former head of eBay, eats at Philippe's Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.

SACRAMENTO — A shrinking state work force has prompted Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to revise the number of state government positions she wants to eliminate.

The former chief executive of eBay has said for a year that she wants to eliminate 40,000 state jobs, returning the work force to its level in the 2004-05 fiscal year. This week, she said that number is now 33,000, reflecting downsizing under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Whitman is relying on information in Schwarzenegger's revised 2010-2011 budget, which shows roughly 7,000 fewer employees on the state payroll than the year before.

She told reporters in Bakersfield about the revision on Tuesday. She has said the reduction could be achieved mostly through attrition.

Unions have targeted Whitman's proposal in campaign mailers featuring photographs of firefighters and nurses.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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