January 10, 2013
TO: CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
FROM: Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE: News From The Capitol
GOVERNOR RELEASES 2013-14 BUDGET – LIBRARY FUNDING PRESERVED
Today Governor Jerry Brown released his 2013-14 State Budget during a morning press conference, calling it a plan that puts the state “on the road to sustainable balance.” He acknowledged that the state’s improved economic position was due to the difficult cuts that the legislature was required to make over the past few years in order to bring the state closer into balance, combined with the new revenues that will be derived from the passage of Proposition 30 (the Governor’s tax initiative). However, the Governor stressed the importance of “living within our means” for the next four years, particularly due to the unknown impact of the federal budget decisions on California and the remaining economic uncertainties.
Despite the improved condition, the State Budget does make reductions to various departments, and includes no increases for public employee salaries. But notably, the Budget spares public libraries from any further reductions. Additionally, the Budget pays down some of the prior debt and draws down dollars or extends fees totaling approximately $1 billion from different sectors of the Budget in order to create an adequate reserve.
As you may recall, last year (2012-13) CLA was able to secure $4.7 million for library funding in the State Budget, to maintain literacy services and protect the basic integrity of the library systems throughout the state. These dollars also helped to preserve approximately $12.5 million in important corresponding federal funds that funded essential programs such as the Braille and Talking Books program. During the winter months, we met with the Governor’s Department of Finance, as they were helping the Governor assemble his 2013-14 Budget, and, at a minimum, we urged continuation of the $4.7 million in the Budget. We are pleased that the Governor recognized these important library programs when he released his proposal this morning.
In the coming months, the legislature will begin reviewing the Governor’s Budget during formal Budget Subcommittee and full Budget Committee hearings in each house. CLA members and supporters will have an opportunity, through that process, to send letters in support of increasing the baseline funding of $4.7 million for the systems and literacy programs. Look for our regular alerts for instructions of how to participate in this advocacy effort in the next few weeks.