January 5, 2012
TO: CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
FROM: Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE: News From the Capitol
GOVERNOR BROWN RELEASES 2012-13 BUDGET EARLY, DUE TO MIX-UP:
No New Funding For Libraries Provided
Governor Jerry Brown was scheduled to release his January 2012-13 Budget next Tuesday at 9 a.m., per the annual constitutional deadline. However, at some point today the Administration became aware that the Department of Finance had accidentally posted an early copy of the Governor’s 2012-13 Budget to its public website, which necessitated a quick change in plans for the Governor. At 1:30 p.m. we received word that the Governor would call the press corps together at 2:30 p.m. today to unveil the Budget a little ahead of schedule. When he subsequently met with the press, the Governor thanked them for convening with “relatively short notice. There are no secrets in government. The Budget was released earlier than planned.”
The Governor said that his focus for 2012-13 would be to push for his tax plan, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot (a half cent sales tax increase for five years and an increase in the income tax on $250K filers), as well as “paying down the wall of debt.” He announced significant cuts to welfare programs (totaling $1.5 billion) and child care programs and he announced another “trigger” plan affecting higher education and K-12 schools, should the tax plan not pass in November. The Governor provided no new funding for public library programs and, in fact, proposed a reduction to the State Library Administration.
You will recall that when the Governor and the Department of Finance announced they would be pulling the so-called “trigger” on massive reductions to UC, CSU, In Home Support Services, etc. in December, that action also included elimination of the $16 million in remaining funding for the California Library Services Act, the state literacy program, and the Public Library Foundation. In the Governor’s Budget released today, he does not restore any of the so-called “trigger cuts” for public libraries. In fact, the Governor’s Budget makes a $1.1 million cut to the State Library Administration Budget “to reflect a decrease in anticipated administrative workload resulting from 2011-12 trigger reductions that eliminated $15.9 million in local assistance programs.” The Budget document goes on to state, “Despite this reduction, the California State Library will continue to preserve California’s history and cultural heritage, and share its collection of historic documents with the citizens of California.”
As previously reported, in early March the Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance (one in the Senate and one in the Assembly) will begin their work, examining the Governor’s 2012-13 Budget. In the meantime, we will be working with legislators at the Capitol, encouraging them to build library funding back into the new State Budget. We are going to be leaning on all of you in the coming weeks to write letters to the members of the subcommittees, and then subsequently to the full Budget Committees. Next week we will send out another alert, confirming all of the 2012 subcommittee conferees, and providing legislator contact information, and some “talking points.” This is going to be a challenging year. Please look for an update from us in the coming days.