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ASSEMBLY BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES $7 MILLION FOR KEY LIBRARY PROGRAMS
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May 23, 2017

 

 

TO:                  CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS

FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol

 

ASSEMBLY BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES $7 MILLION FOR KEY LIBRARY PROGRAMS
Issue Will Head to Budget Conference Committee For More Discussion

This morning at the State Capitol, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance approved $7 million in combined funding for two popular public library programs – broadband connection grants and Career Online High School.   

As we reported to CLA members on May 11, there has been an active effort underway by CLA for the last few months to try to secure additional funding to connect public libraries to the high speed, broadband “backbone” operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) in Phase 3 of implementation.   As part of that effort, Assemblywoman Cecila Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) and 13 of her colleagues signed a letter directed to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chair, urging adoption of additional funding for the library broadband project, as well as the popular Career Online High School program.

Today’s action by the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance was as follows:

  • “Provide $4 million one-time General Fund to support Internet upgrades at local libraries to allow libraries to access a statewide, high-speed Internet Network.”
  • “Provide $3 million one-time General Fund to support the Career Online High School program.”

Additionally, Assembly Budget Subcommittee member, Al Muratsuchi had requested funding for the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.  The Subcommittee took the following action on that item: 

  • “Provide $3 million one-time General Fund to the California Civil Liberties Public Education program.  Approve budget bill language allowing the State Librarian to use 5% of this funding for administrative purposes and an encumbrance and expenditure period that would allow the Librarian to distribute one-third of the available funding each year for the next three fiscal years.”

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee approved all three of these items on a bi-partisan, unanimous vote of the Subcommittee.  If you are represented by the following individuals, please extend your thanks to them for their strong support of public libraries this morning:   Chairman Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, Assemblywoman Monique Limon, Assemblyman Jose Medina, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, and Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

On Thursday, the full Assembly Budget Committee will formally adopt the reports of the subcommittees.  On the Senate side, there was no action to include any new funding for these three library programs, so the differences will now be reconciled by the powerful Budget Conference Committee, where they will be debated.

The Budget Conference Committee members will be appointed shortly and they will consist of a small number of Senators and Assemblymembers, tasked with reconciling the difference between the Assembly version of the Budget, the Senate version of the Budget, and the Governor’s Budget.  They will endeavor to accomplish this by the constitutional deadline for passage of the State Budget on June 15. 

We will alert you as to the names of the Budget Conference Committee Conferees in the coming days, and we will provide you with instructions on how to write a letter to these legislators to encourage their support of the “Assembly Version” of the Budget.