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May 11, 2017



FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol


State Library Budget Holds Steady

This morning Governor Jerry Brown released his “May Revision” of the State Budget before the press corps at the State Capitol.  The May Revision, or “May “Revise” as it is called, is an opportunity for the Governor to update his January Budget, based on the latest revenue projection numbers, which include April tax receipts and anticipated actions at the Federal level.  Governor Brown acknowledged that his May Revise approach was a modest one, saying, “It is very cruel to fund programs and then pull the rug out from under them.”  In his overview, the Governor said he is quite concerned about the effort in Washington D.C. to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act and how that may impact California revenues.  He stated, “’Repeal and Replace’ would be really bad news for California.  It would be ugly….That’s why we will fight it as hard as we can.” 

Yesterday the State Controller, Betty Yee, issued a press release which read in part, “In one of the most crucial months for collections, California revenues of $15.98 billion for April fell short of projections in the Governor’s proposed 2017-18 budget by $1.05 billion, or 6.2 percent.”  She added, “April is usually the state’s biggest tax filling month, so lower-than-expected personal income tax receipts are troubling.  While we await the governor’s May Revision, this is another signal that we may be inching towards an economic downturn, and we must tailor our spending accordingly.”  The Governor echoed the sentiment of the Controller, using a series of charts and graphs, noting, “Cuts are coming over the next few years.  No doubt about it.”  However, he does propose some spending increases in the areas of K-12 education, child care, and In Home Supportive Services.

The Governor’s May Revision holds steady the current funding in the State Library Budget – in other words, there were no proposed increases and no proposed cuts to existing funding.

Over the last two weeks we have been working with Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (AD 4) who has spearheaded an effort, along with a bi-partisan group of her colleagues to seek additional Budget funding for two programs of great interest to public libraries.  Specifically, the Assemblymembers are requesting, with CLA’s support:

  • $4 million to continue efforts to connect public libraries to the high-speed broadband “backbone” operated by CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California)
  • $1 million for Career Online High School, which is currently operating in many libraries in the state. 

On Tuesday, CLA testified in Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance, in support of the effort by Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry and others (see letter attached).  Also testifying in support of the funding proposal was the lobbyist for CENIC and the lobbyist for Smart Horizons, the Career Online High School provider.  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee has been leaving most items “open” at this time, as it is important for them to analyze the Governor’s May Revision proposal before they can act on various education-related items. 

In light of the Governor’s prudent approach with today’s May Revision document, we will be working hard in the coming days to try to identify some “one-time” money that could be used for broadband connection grants and Career Online High School, versus “on-going” funding, which the Governor does not typically entertain for these purposes.  The Budget subcommittee deliberations in both the Assembly and the Senate will be wrapped up by Friday, May 26.  From there, the full Budget Committees and the Budget Conference Committee will convene to reconcile differences and entertain further discussions with the Governor’s office.

We would like to thank Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry and the following Assemblymembers for their support of the effort to seek additional library funding:  Brian Dahle, Frank Bigelow, Adrin Nazarian, Eduardo Garcia, Mark Stone, Jim Wood, Adam Gray, Monique Limon, Eloise Gomez Reyes, James Gallagher, Blanca Rubio, Raul Bocanegra, and Reggie Jones-Sawyer.

Attachment: Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2 on Education Finance Letter