Thursday, January 11, 2018

Governor Releases 2018-19 Proposed State Budget :: Includes $9.5 Million to Enhance Public Library Programs

Governor Releases 2018-19 Proposed State Budget
Includes $9.5 Million to Enhance Public Library Programs
CLA News: 1.10.2018 by Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

This morning Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his final state Budget proposal, as he completes the last year of his term in office.  As part of the Budget package, CLA is pleased to report that the Governor has decided to include some significant funding -$9.5 million in new money - for public libraries in the proposal.  This funding seeks to benefit libraries that need to connect to high-speed broadband or those that wish to increase existing speed, local literacy programs, and creative ways of sharing and delivering library materials.

The Governor’s Director of Finance, Michael Cohen then addressed the press corps and noted that the state Budget is proposed as $131.7 billion this year and that revenues are up $4.7 billion from last June.  However, he cautioned that the “unknown is the federal tax implications” which Director Cohen said his Department would be actively working to assess in the coming months.

The Governor’s 2018-19 Budget proposes the following:

Augmentation for Literacy Program – An increase of $2.5 million General Fund ongoing to expand the existing California Library Literacy Services program.”

One-Time Funding for Broadband Grants - $5 million General Fund one-time for broadband equipment grants, with the expectation that $2 million would support connection for public libraries who lack access to the broadband network and $3 million would expand capacity for libraries already connected.”

One-Time Funding for Online Service System - $1.5 million General Fund one-time for online systems for use by public libraries to support efficient access to resources.”

$500,000 is also provided for a combination of State Library staffing and taxes related to the CENIC project.

With regard to the library-specific funding in the 2018-19 Budget, the negotiations regarding these particular components in the Budget package were the result of a collective effort between CLA, the Department of Finance, the State Library, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) during the Fall months.  READ MORE >>

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