A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called this afternoon to offer “context” to the Sacramento Bee story on the recent growth in the state government work force. I linked to the Bee story in this morning’s blog post. Here.

The aide did not deny the substance of the Bee story, but he argued that Schwarzenegger has worked diligently to cut spending wherever he could.

You can judge for yourself. Here, in its entirety, is the “fact sheet” sent along by spokesman Aaron McLear:

FACT SHEET: GOVERNOR ON SPENDING REDUCTIONS

Under Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration, the rate of General Fund spending growth has been lower than under recent California governors – including Republican governors. Furthermore, the Governor has taken steps, through two Executive Orders, to tighten the belt within his own administration and reduce costs, just as every family and business in California is being forced to do.

From February 2008 To February 2009, The Governor’s Efforts To Realize Savings Within His Administration Has Saved $318 Million In Payroll And Other Staff Costs. Governor Schwarzenegger has taken steps to cut his own office budget – and is continuing to do so.

– The Governor’s office budget has dropped from $19.7 M to $19.0 M over the past year and will drop at least 10 percent more before July 2009.

– Governor’s office payroll has dropped from 174 to 150 employees over the past year. We will continue to reduce the number of positions in the Governor’s Office.

– All Governor’s Office employees are taking a 9.3% reduction in work hours and pay in collaboration with the Governor’s furlough order.

– The Governor’s February 2008 Executive Order to cut 1.5% from his Administration before June 30, 2008 saved $200 million.

– The Governor’s July 2008 Executive Order to restrict hiring and travel has saved $118.7 million through February 2009 “it is ongoing. Under Governor Schwarzenegger, The Rate Of Increased State General Fund Spending Has Grown Slower Than Under Other California Governors In Recent History – Just 3.7 Percent. That number includes Republican governors Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson.

– General Fund spending has also increased slower than inflation and population growth. This stands true for the 2004-05 fiscal year – this Governor’s first budget since he inherited the 2003-04 budget from Gray Davis – to the recently enacted budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

– How does this compare to prior administrations? The rate of General Fund spending growth was:
13.6 percent under Reagan
8 percent under Deukmejian
4.6 percent under Wilson
6.3 percent under Davis
3.7 percent under Schwarzenegger

Governor Schwarzenegger Has Ensured That State Government Is Tightening Their Belts Along With Every Other Californian Family And Business To Achieve A Savings Of $1.4 Billion. Through furloughs, position elimination, the elimination of some state holidays and the changing of overtime rules – state government will save $1.4 billion.

-The Governor achieved additional savings when he signed the 2009-10 Budget Act using his blue-pencil veto power.

The Governor cut the budget of Constitutional Officers by 10 percent.

The Governor requested that legislators also aim to achieve a 10 percent reduction in their budgets.

The Governor cut $400 million from the CDCR budget, but directed Secretary Matthew Cate to actively work with the Legislature to pursue reforms that will achieve these additional savings in ways that maintain public safety.