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SENATE BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES $10.5 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR KEY LIBRARY PROGRAMS
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May 17, 2018

TO:                 CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS

FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol

 

SENATE BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES $10.5 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR KEY LIBRARY PROGRAMS

On Wednesday, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, which has jurisdiction over the State Library and library funding in the State Budget process, approved a $9.5 million comprehensive public library Budget package, as well as $1 million to expand “Lunch at the Library.” 

As we previously reported, during October of 2017, CLA, the State Library, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) reached a significant agreement on a public library funding package.  This $9.5 million package was negotiated at the direction of the California Director of Finance and his Finance Education Unit.  As a result of this positive engagement, Governor Brown included the package in his 2018-19 January Budget.  Over the course of the last few months, we have been working to ensure that the package remained intact and was supported broadly by the Assembly and Senate Budget subcommittee members.  The components of the package seek to benefit public libraries in the areas of broadband connectivity, creative ways of accessing materials, and expanding literacy services to families. 

Yesterday, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, consisting of Senator Anthony Portantino (Chair), Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Senator John Moorlach voted unanimously to support the following items:

  • $2 million in one-time funds for broadband connection grants, to continue to connect more public libraries to the broadband “backbone” operated by CENIC.
  • $3 million in one-time funds to increase broadband capacity for libraries connected to CENIC who are in need of upgrading (e.g. from 1 gig to 10 gigs). 
  • $1.5 million in one-time funds for resource-sharing under CLSA. (Intended to be earmarked for the Zip Books program and a program to digitally connect library catalogues.)
  • $2.5 million in ongoing funding for family literacy.
  • $500,000 for an E-rate coordinator position at the State Library, and to address Public Utility Commission imposed taxes and surcharges associated with the library membership in CENIC

In addition to the $9.5 million package, the Senate Budget Subcommittee also unanimously approved $1 million in ongoing funds yesterday for the “Lunch at the Library” program.  As we reported to you earlier this week, Senator Holly Mitchell, who also Chairs the full Senate Budget Committee, formally made this $1 million request last Thursday.  CLA is proud to support Senator Mitchell’s request, as the funding is intended to enhance the existing “Lunch at the Library” sites, as well as bring more libraries on board. 

Of note, if the Assembly Budget Subcommittee adopts the $9.5 million package next Tuesday, the matching vote actions will keep the items from having to go to the Budget Conference Committee for reconciliation.  Rather, the $9.5 million package would be approved, as Budgeted and included in the annual Budget bill.  Regarding the $1 million for the “Lunch at the Library” item:  if the Assembly were to not take a comparable action to propose $1 million on their side, then the “Lunch at the Library” item would need to go to the Budget Conference Committee.  As mentioned, since Senator Mitchell Chairs the Senate Budget Committee, the funding has a good chance of moving forward towards two-house adoption. 

We will continue to keep you posted regarding the action of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee next week.  In the meantime, if you are represented by Senators Portantino, Jackson, Moorlach, or Mitchell, please take a moment to reach out to their district offices and say “thank you” for supporting public libraries in this year’s Budget.