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03.28.12 Call to Action
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03.28.12 Call to Action

SAVING LIBRARY FUNDING IN THE 2012 BUDGET - LETTERS STILL NEEDED

 

March 28, 2012

 
 
TO:                  CLA Members/ Systems/ Network Contacts
 
FROM:             Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                        Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
 
RE:                 News From the Capitol
 
 
 
Saving Library Funding in the 2012 Budget – Letters Still Needed
 
 
 
As you are aware, Governor Brown’s January 2012-13 Budget does not provide any funding for public libraries, and over the last two weeks we have been asking CLA members, friends groups, literacy advocates and others to write letters in support of restoration of $15.2 million in this year’s Budget. $15.2 million will not only protect the integrity of the three programs in jeopardy – the California Library Services Act, the state literacy program, and the Public Library Foundation, but it will also allow the State Library to draw down millions of dollars in federal funding to support programs such as the Braille and Talking Books program. In our previous memo to you, we indicated that the first and most critical point in the Budget deliberations is the Budget Subcommittee level, and we asked you to direct your letters to those individuals in particular. We are pleased to report that after checking with a few of the subcommittee member offices yesterday, they have received more than 50 letters in support, as well as a few calls. Thank you for your good work to date, but the effort should still continue over the coming weeks, in preparation for the subcommittee hearings. We would really like the subcommittee members to receive many more letters prior to the hearing - it is imperative that they be reminded just how significant this funding is for the future of California public libraries. If you have never written a letter to the legislature, now is the time!
 
As mentioned in our prior correspondence, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance will be meeting on Thursday, April 19th so you still have a couple of weeks to get your letters in to Senators Carol Liu (Chair), Ted Gaines, and Roderick Wright. In the Assembly, today we learned that the hearing of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education, which was previously scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 9th. Again, this will give library funding supporters ample time to continue writing these Assemblymembers (Chair Susan Bonilla, Bill Berryhill, Julia Brownley, Brian Nestande, and Sandre Swanson). Contact information is listed below. 
 
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
Hearing date: Thursday, April 19 – 9:30 a.m. or upon adjournment of Senate Floor, Room 3191
 
Senator Carol Liu, Chair
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 324-7543
 
Senator Ted Gaines (*) 
Member, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 3060
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 324-2680
 
Senator Rod Wright
Member, Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 445-3712
 
(*) – New member, replaces Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff
 
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
Hearing date: Wednesday, May 9 – 4 p.m. in Room 126
 
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, Chair
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 2188
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2111
 
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill
Member, Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 3141
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2126
 
Assemblywoman Julia Brownley
Member, Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 2163
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2141                                                                                              
 
Assemblyman Brian Nestande
Member, Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4139
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2164
 
Assemblyman Sandre Swanson
Member, Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 6012
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2116
 
 
 
Governor and Supporters Begin Initiative Drive on “Merged” Tax Proposal
 
As part of the Governor’s January 2012-13 Budget, the Governor proposed going to the voters with an initiative to increase the sales tax by ½ cent, and increase the income tax proportionally on upper income earners, beginning with single filers who make $250,000 and joint filers who make $500,000. This tax would be in place for five years and would be used to “backfill” the state coffers and avoid drastic cuts to programs, services, and largely K-12 education. While the Governor has enjoyed early support for his proposal from various groups, he was hindered by two contrasting proposals - one by the California Federation of Teachers and one by political activist Molly Munger.
 
The Governor had publicly stated that if three tax proposals appear on the November 2012 ballot the chance of any of them passing is seriously in doubt. Thus, the Governor has been working extensively to try to convince the two rival initiative sponsors to join up with his effort instead. Recently, the Governor was able to reach an accord with the CFT, but the agreement was predicated on the idea that the Governor’s proposal would be changed to reflect a smaller increase in the sales tax (¼ cent rather than ½ cent) and a larger increase in the income tax on higher income earners (e.g. additional three percent for taxable incomes over $500,000; $1 million for joint filers) rather than 2%. Additionally, the taxes would be in effect for seven years, rather than the 5 years called for in the Governor’s original proposal. With this agreement, the Governor and his supporters, including the CFT, are now in the process of expediting the collection of signatures in order to get this new initiative qualified in time for the November ballot. Of course, complicating the picture continues to be Molly Munger’s reluctance to pull her measure from the ballot.  Because the Munger proposal increases personal income tax rates on a sliding scale beginning at $7,316 in annual earnings, it polls at less than 50%, while a recent poll shows the Governor/CFT proposal at slightly above 60%.