|Make a Quick Call Today in Support of Library Funding in the State Budget|
May 29, 2015
TO: CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS
FROM: Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
RE: News From The Capitol – State Budget Developments
TIME SENSITIVE – YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!
MAKE A QUICK CALL TODAY IN SUPPORT OF LIBRARY FUNDING IN THE STATE BUDGET
As we reported to you last week, the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance at the State Capitol have wrapped up their work and have made recommendations to their respective full committees. The Senate Budget Committee adopted its package of recommendations last Friday and the Assembly adopted their package this Wednesday. Because there are very distinctive differences between how the Senate and Assembly fund various programs in their Budgets, this will force those items to be reconciled by the powerful Budget Conference Committee, which will begin its work on Monday.
CLA’s Push for the “Senate Version”
Specifically, the Governor proposed adding slightly over $4 million for literacy and broadband connectivity in his May Revision of the Budget. However, the Senate has adopted a dollar amount that is $7.5 million more than what the Governor proposes for library funding in his May Revision of the Budget -- for a total in new money of approximately $11.7 million. (see the CLA “Budget ask” sheet, which parallels the “Senate Version” of the Budget.)
The Assembly adopted only the Governor’s May Revision of the Budget and no new money above that amount for libraries.
The Key Legislators to Contact and Talking Points
The conferees were named this morning and now the comprehensive hearings, featuring these 6 members, will commence next week. Differences that can’t be resolved over the next two weeks in Conference Committee will be discussed between the Governor and the Democrat and Republican Leaders in each house, also known as the “Big 5.” Time is of the essence, as the Conference Committee deliberations will move very quickly.
Please take a moment today to phone as many of these members as you can (listed below) and urge their support of the following action using this sample script or similar talking points:
Hi, my name is _______. I am representing_____ (public library/literacy program, etc.) I reside in (city) and I am a strong library supporter. I would like to be on record in support of an item that the (Assemblymember/Senator) will be considering in Budget Conference Committee.
I would like to request that (he or she) give consideration to supporting the Senate Version of the Budget, under the State Library Budget Items. The Senate Version reflects important funding for public library programs, above the level contained in the Governor’s May Revision.
These dollars will help to fund critical loaning and lending programs for libraries, as well as improve literacy programs, and will help to connect public libraries to a statewide high speed, broadband backbone.
Twenty eight legislators have signed a joint letter in support of the Senate version and it is my hope that your boss might also support the Senate version. Thank you.
Members of the Budget Conference Committee
Senator Mark Leno, Chair
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber
Senator Jim Nielsen (* signed the joint letter)
Senator Ricardo Lara
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
Assemblyman Richard Bloom
Thank you for your help!