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Advocacy Feedback And Comments Regarding The LAO Report On The Library Broadband Proposal
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March 31, 2014

 
 
 
TO:                 CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
 
FROM:           Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                       Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
 
RE:                 News From the Capitol
 
 
ADVOCACY FEEDBACK AND COMMENTS REGARDING THE LAO REPORT ON THE LIBRARY BROADBAND PROPOSAL
 
As your lobbyists, we want to thank CLA members and library supporters at all levels for your significant advocacy efforts during this year’s “Day In the District.” We had asked you to weigh in with CLA Legislative Chair, Laura Seaholm after the conclusion of your meetings, to give her a report about the feedback you received from your legislators on issues such as the CLA broadband proposal, SCA 7-Wolk (55% for bonds and special taxes), and SB 1455-DeSaulnier (library construction bond). Laura forwarded those reports to our office and we were so pleased to see the volume of responses and the quality discussions held during your meetings. We were very impressed!
 
The “Day In the District” meetings are intended to build lasting relationships with legislators, but they are also critically necessary when CLA is advocating for significant proposals, such as the Governor’s proposal to connect all public libraries to a high speed backbone operated by CENIC. So many of you received very positive responses from legislators who said they looked forward to supporting the effort to see the funding for this project protected in the State Budget this year. 
 
Some of you may have seen that the State’s Legislative Analyst’s Office produced a report last week entitled, “The 2014-15 Budget: An Analysis of Local Libraries’ Internet Speeds.” The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office is tasked with reviewing various parts of the Governor’s Budget and making recommendations to accept the proposal, modify it, or reject it entirely. The LAO, after reviewing the Governor’s public library broadband proposal, recommended that it be “rejected.” As CLA President Deborah Doyle stated in her memo on CALIX on Friday evening, it is not uncommon for the Governor/his Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to disagree, sometimes very actively, on various pieces of the Budget.   One thing is certain: we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have the Governor include new money in his Budget for the broadband project. That action speaks volumes about the importance of the issue to his Administration. It is essential that CLA do all it can to continue its letter writing campaign in support of this effort.
 
We will not go into great detail regarding the major disputes we have with the LAO report, only to say that the State Library, CENIC, and CLA leaders and lobbyists all granted considerable amounts of their time to the LAO to answer all of their questions. In the end, very little of the information we collectively provided was utilized, and in fact, there are numerous inaccuracies that we are prepared to address substantively in our meetings at the Capitol.
 
·         ACTION REQUESTED!
 
If you have not yet sent your letters to the members of the Budget subcommittees on Education Finance (please see the March 10 “News From the Capitol”), urging them to support the Governor’s public library broadband proposal in the Budget, please do so now as the items are scheduled to be heard:  April 23rd in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee, and April 24th in the Senate Budget Subcommittee. Attached is a list of the subcommittee members. In your letters, please stress how constrained you are by your current broadband strength or capacity and give examples. 
 
Rest assured that your CLA leaders, CLA Legislative Committee, lobbyists, and the State Library are actively working to make the public library broadband plan a reality. The LAO report is a bump in the road, and we solidly reject their idea that “doing nothing” is a viable, practical approach.   
 
 
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
 
 
Note: A sample letter is available on the CLA website under the “Advocacy” tab.