|Governor Signs 2014-2015 Budget - Library Money Is Protected|
June 20, 2014
TO: CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE: News From the Capitol
GOVERNOR SIGNS 2014-15 BUDGET – LIBRARY MONEY IS PROTECTED
Shortly before 10 a.m. this morning, Governor Jerry Brown joined new Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg at a Budget signing event in San Diego. Before members of the press, the Governor signed SB 852, the main Budget bill, which contains new funding to enact the Governor’s plan to connect public libraries to a high-speed, broadband backbone operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), as well as new funding for the California Library Services Act and the state literacy program. We are grateful to the Governor, the legislature and CLA members and supporters who wrote letters, participated in Day In the District, and made personal calls to legislators this year.
The Governor also released a formal summary document and a list of very modest veto items, as there had been great collaboration between the legislative leaders and the Governor in crafting this year’s 2014-15 Budget. The summary document notes the following good news for public libraries:
· High-Speed Internet Access – the Budget includes $3.3 million General Fund to provide public libraries access to high-speed Internet to better meet the demands of today’s library patrons. This includes $2.3 million to allow California’s public library branches to access a statewide, high-speed Internet network, and $1 million General Fund on a one-time basis for grants to public libraries that require equipment upgrades to connect to a high-speed network.
· One-time Local Assistance Funding – The Budget includes $3 million General Fund for local library programs, including $1 million for literacy programs.”
In the case of the second bullet, this funding will be added on to the existing baseline for the California Library Services Act and the literacy program. You will note that the Governor’s document makes reference to the Local Assistance Funding being “one-time” in nature. Technically, all items in the annual Budget bill are “one-time” in nature unless there is agreement that they be ongoing appropriations. Since the Governor has made it clear that he wants to proceed with great prudence as the economy continues to stabilize, we believe this is why he has characterized the new money as “one-time” in nature. During the Fall, CLA will work actively to make our case as to why the new money should be continued in subsequent Budgets.