Governor Cuts Library Programs In Budget
News From the Capitol: 1.09.2015 by Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist; Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
GOVERNOR BROWN INTRODUCES 2015-16 BUDGET:
SLASHES $4 MILLION FROM PUBLIC LIBRARY PROGRAMS
This morning Governor Brown introduced his 2015-16 State Budget before an assembly of the press corps in the State Capitol in Sacramento. The Governor’s Budget summary document, released in conjunction with the Budget indicates that “the state budget, after a decade of fiscal turbulence, is finally balanced – more precariously than I would like – but balanced.” While the Governor’s Budget gives most of any new revenue, gained due to an slowly recovering economy, to K-12 schools, he also proposes new spending in areas of public safety, health and human services, and climate change. –
However, most disappointing, the Governor slashes $4 million from the State Library Budget – money which was included last year in the Budget to bolster the California Library Services Act, the State Literacy program, and so-called “hardship” grants for those libraries needing to connect to the new high-speed Internet backbone operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).
While this news is understandably disappointing, California library supporters have a history of rising to the occasion, and there is no doubt they will do so again with a valiant fight this Spring on these issues. In fact, you will be hearing from the CLA Legislative Committee in the coming days as they launch this year’s major advocacy event, “Day In the District.” Your participation will be critical as CLA begins a concerted effort to restore these funds.
CLA members will recall that last year, Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) fought to include funding in the 2014-15 Budget to help restore money to the California Library Services Act and the state literacy program. The Assemblyman had met with the library directors, staff and supporters in Burbank in his district, and learned of the impacts the devastating Budget cuts had had on the Transaction Based Reimbursement program and other vital programs. In working with CLA, Assemblyman Gatto vowed to make partial restoration of public library funds one of his priorities last year. Along with Assembly Budget Chair, Nancy Skinner and Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chair, Al Muratsuchi, the three of them championed the issue, resulting in $3 million in new funding being included in the Budget ultimately sent to the Governor. We hope that Mr. Gatto and many of our library supporters in the legislature will again lead the effort to restore this funding as the Budget Committees begin their deliberations on the Governor’s Budget this Spring.
Specifically, the Governor’s Budget does the following:
•California Library Services Act: Makes a $2 million reduction in this line-item. This leaves $1.88 million in the fund.
•California Library Literacy Services: Makes a $1 million reduction in this line-item. This leaves $2.8 million in the fund.
•CENIC “Hardship Grants:” Zeroes out the $1 million in “hardship grant” funding but leaves $2.25 million in place to fund the Governor’s broadband plan for libraries (e.g. connecting public libraries to the CENIC high-speed “backbone.”) READ MORE !
Kevin McCarty (Chair) Dem – 7
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Young O. Kim Rep - 65
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Patrick O'Donnell Dem – 70
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