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Budget Conferees Trim Budget As Part Of Deal With Governor
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June 12, 2014    

FROM:             Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist                        
                         Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist  

 RE:                 News From the Capitol – Budget Update    


 New Library Funding Reduced From $5 million to $3 million    

Last night the Legislature’s eight-member Budget Conference Committee convened to make a series of adjustments to many previously closed Budget items and to take votes on several outstanding issues. One such item revisited was the new funding, recently approved, for the California Library Services Act and the state literacy program.

Over the course of the past few days, the Assembly and Senate leadership have been meeting with Governor Brown to reconcile the differences between the Governor’s proposed Budget and the Assembly and Senate versions of the Budget.  At issue have been the revenue estimates that should be assumed when deciding how much money there is to spend on various programs. The Governor has been assuming lower revenue estimates, and has been cautioning that because the economy continues to recover slowly, it is important to adopt a more prudent Budget this year. The state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office had identified revenues of $2.5 billion more than the Governor’s Department of Finance estimates, so the Assembly and the Senate used the LAO’s higher numbers to craft their two Budgets.  

Similar to last year, we, as your lobbyists, recognized that as the Budget was proceeding, it contained higher expenditures in areas that we felt may not be agreeable to the Governor. This was confirmed yesterday when we learned that the Budget Conference Committee would be reopening the new $5 million for library funding that we have been reporting on recently, along with many other previously approved funded items. Last week conferees had voted to provide $4 million for the California Library Services Act and $1 million for the state literacy program.  When the issue was reopened last night, the conferees noted that they were disappointed that they were going to have to make a small reduction to the previous augmentation, and reduced the CLSA by $2 million. Officially, the Budget now contains $2 million more for CLSA (current baseline is $1.8 million) and $1 million more for literacy (current baseline is $2.8 million) and $3.25 for the Governor’s proposal to link all public libraries to a high-speed, broadband network.   

As one of the conferees related to us, the $2 million reduction to the library funding was a compromise between the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governor’s office. Thus, we believe that these final numbers, approved as part of the leadership deal, will be secure as they go down to the Governor’s office.

The legislature will convene this Sunday afternoon, June 15 to approve the state Budget. The Budget will then be sent to the Governor for his signature.