Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Public Library Broadband Proposal
Share |

Public Library Broadband Proposal

A report to the field urging members to send letters to the members of the Senate and Assembly Subcommittees in support of the library broadband proposal, and a sample letter for members to use.

Skip to:

REPORT TO THE FIELD

March 10, 2014
TO:  CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
FROM:  Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist, Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE:   News From the Capitol


PUBLIC LIBRARY BROADBAND PROPOSAL TO GO BEFORE BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEES IN APRIL – LETTERS NEEDED

Governor Brown’s January Budget contains $2.25 million in proposed new, ongoing funding to connect all public libraries to a statewide, high-speed broadband network operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).  The budget also proposes that an additional $1 million in one-time money be used for grants for those public libraries that may need assistance with the purchase of circuits or other hardware, etc.   This funding and policy issue has been scheduled for hearing in the Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance next month at the State Capitol and we need your help.

The State Library budget is the purview of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance and the Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance.  These subcommittees have scheduled a discussion of the Governor’s public library broadband proposal for late April (April 23 and April 24 respectively).  CLA, the State Library and CENIC worked tirelessly last year to educate the legislature and the Department of Finance about the need for this program.  That advocacy effort led to the creation of the major State Library Broadband Needs Assessment that almost the entire library community participated in during the Fall.  The Needs Assessment gave CLA critical data and validated the claims we had made at the Capitol regarding the overwhelming need for better broadband speed, capacity and connectivity for California public libraries.

Since the Governor has embraced this proposal as part of his January Budget, it is imperative that the library community demonstrate a strong show of support for the broadband plan when the issue is before the Budget subcommittees in April.  Please take a moment today to use the sample letter that we have provided or feel free to customize it to fit your needs.  Send your letter to each member listed below either by mail or by fax by Wednesday, April 16. 

Read our fact sheet on the broadband plan for more information.

Budget Subcommittee Hearing Dates and Contact Information – State Library/CENIC Issue

Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
Hearing Date:  Thursday, April 24 – 9:30 a.m. or upon adjournment – Room 3191

The Honorable Marty Block, Chair
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4090
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 651-4939

The Honorable Carol Liu, Member
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 651-4925

The Honorable Mark Wyland, Member
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4048
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 651-4938

Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
Hearing Date:  Wednesday, April 23 – 4 p.m.    Room 126

Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, Chair
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4117
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 319-2166

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, Member
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 2170
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 319-2176

Assemblyman Matt Debabneh, Member
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5144
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 319-2145

Assemblyman Brian Nestande, Member
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 4139
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 319-2142

Assemblyman Phil Ting, Member
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 3173
Sacramento, CA.  95814
Fax:  (916) 319-2119

[top]

SAMPLE LETTER

Download a copy.

[Date]


The Honorable [Name]
California State [Assembly or Senate]
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA.  95814


RE:  BUDGET ITEM # 6120-215-0001:  CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY – Statewide Library Broadband Services – Support Governor’s January Budget

Dear [Assemblymember or Senator _____]

I am writing to request your strong support of a program contained in the Governor’s January Budget that would provide essential broadband services for all of California’s public libraries.  This issue will be before the Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance in late April for a hearing when the State Library budget is considered. 

Budget Item 6120-215-0001 would provide $2.25 million in ongoing General Fund money for public libraries to allow them to join a major high-speed broadband network, operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).  An additional $1 million in one-time funding would be provided for the purpose of providing grants to libraries that may need additional assistance with the purchase of circuits or other augmentations, in order to join the CENIC network.

I am pleased that Governor Brown included funding in his Budget that will enable public libraries to join a high speed Internet backbone, which will allow libraries throughout the state to better meet the dynamic changing needs of patrons.  Library usage is at an all-time high [ - please insert some numbers  or percentages here from your own library - ] and yet many public libraries are equipped with broadband strength that is less than what one might find in their own home.  Your constituents are coming to the library to complete EDD applications, submit job applications, researching Affordable Care Act plans, accessing tutors for school assignments, applying for veterans programs – all online.  Not everyone has a computer or smart tablet at home, so libraries fill the role of the “great equalizer” of access for all in a community.

I strongly encourage the legislature to adopt the Governor’s proposal, which ultimately will allow the State Library to join the cooperative network, CENIC.  It is important to note that the legislature has a good familiarity with CENIC, as CENIC has been providing a high level of broadband service for the K-12, University of California, CSU, and community college systems for many years with great success.  

Your support of this project is vitally important to the public library community.  Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,

[______]

[top]