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GOVERNOR BROWN RELEASES 2016-17 BUDGET: NEW MONEY FOR CALIFORNIA LIBRARY SERVICES ACT
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January 7, 2016

 

TO:              CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS

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

RE:               News From the Capitol – Governor’s Budget

 

GOVERNOR BROWN RELEASES 2016-17 BUDGET:  NEW MONEY FOR CALIFORNIA LIBRARY SERVICES ACT

 

This morning in a press conference at the State Capitol, Governor Jerry Brown released the 2016-17 State Budget, which includes a proposal to provide $4.8 million in new funding for the purpose of enhancing the California Library Services Act.  This funding would be in addition to the $1.8 million that is currently appropriated for the CLSA.

The Governor plans to increase funding to various sections of the Budget including In Home Support Services for the developmentally disabled, $2 billion more for the state’s Rainy Day Fund, K-12 school funding, and transportation.   However, throughout his presentation, the Governor weaved words of caution about the continued potential volatility of future revenues.  “Given the wide disparities that exist in our state and the millions who struggle in one form or another, understandably there will be proposals to fund a variety of worthwhile programs.  But it would be short-sighted in the extreme to now embark upon a host of new spending only to see massive cuts when the next recession hits.”  In his presentation, the Governor referred to a series of large charts indicating the past “boom and bust” Budget cycles and added, “More permanent spending, combined with a recession would be devastating.” 

In light of his cautious approach to this year’s Budget, we are pleased to see that Governor Brown has identified $4.8 million in new funding for public libraries under the CLSA, as a sign of his support for their valuable services.  Specifically the Budget notes:

“California State Library

California Library Services Act – An increase of $1.8 million General Fund ongoing and $3 million General Fund on a one-time basis for the California Library Services Act program.  These funds will be used to strengthen statewide and regional services for public libraries.”

During the Fall, we met with the Governor’s Department of Finance to ask that they consider providing funding for public libraries in the Budget this year.  When talk turned to the requested funding for the California Library Services Act, the Department of Finance wondered if there were ways to increase cooperation and collaboration among the systems using some “one time” funding (e.g. must be spent in fiscal year 2016-2017).  The CLA Legislative Committee has been discussing this matter and will be addressing it again at their meeting on January 15 in Sacramento.  The Department of Finance representatives will be in attendance at that meeting.  Additionally, our office will be meeting with the Department of Finance tomorrow to be briefed on the Governor’s Budget as it relates to this newly proposed funding.  We will keep you informed as these discussions continue.

Lastly, there was no additional money provided for the state literacy program, but the current dollar amount of $4.8 million will continue under the Governor’s Budget.  There was also no new money provided for broadband connections for public libraries, but the funding that allows public libraries to participate as a member of CENIC will continue ($2.25 million). Last year, the legislature and the Governor provided $4 million for broadband connectivity grants.