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​End-Of-Session Push For Support of Library Construction Measure
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August 8, 2017



FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol


End-Of-Session Push For Support of Library Construction Measure

On August 21 the California Legislature will return from a one-month Summer break and will rapidly process a substantial workload that remains for the 2017 Session, before they adjourn the session on Friday, September 15th.  One of the remaining major items to be taken up by the State Senate is SCA 3 by Senator Dodd, which seeks to lower the vote threshold for library construction bonds from the current two-thirds vote to 55%.  SCA 3 is sponsored by CLA.

SCA 3 requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate – 27 votes out of 40 – for passage.  Every “yes” vote is essential. Your two-minute call to your California State Senator is urgently needed.  Emails are also encouraged.  Below are instructions for contacting your Senator.

As you may recall, Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and CLA have successfully been able to move SCA 3 through two policy committees (Senate Governance and Finance and Senate Constitutional Amendments).  However, the votes have been along strict party lines, with Democrats supporting the measure and Republicans opposed to the measure.  While the issue of allowing local voters to make the decision to support library construction in their area with a 55% vote should be appealing to many legislators, Senate Republicans are concerned with the potential increase in local bonded indebtedness and taxes. 

The one issue that is universal – regardless of party affiliation – is that there is a tremendous pent-up demand for library construction and renovation throughout California.  Libraries are challenged by structural ADA compliance issues, size limitations in growing communities, and buildings that are so old they can’t adopt the latest in technology infrastructure, etc. 

Please take a minute today and express your support for SCA 3 by calling or emailing your legislator’s office (the offices are fully operational right now, even during the summer break).    Feel free to pass this memo on to your Friends groups, literacy networks, local government leaders, etc.  Senator Dodd is working extremely hard on the passage of this measure, and we do not want to let him down. 


1)    Use this link to find the phone number for the Sacramento Capitol office of your Senator   (They need to hear from their own constituents.)

2)    Consider using the following script for a quick two-minute call:

“Good morning/good afternoon.  My name is _______________ and I am a constituent of Senator [Name]______________________ from  [City]_________________.”

“I am calling to express my support for a measure that is currently on the Senate Floor – SCA 3 by Senator Dodd.  The bill seeks to lower the vote threshold for local construction bonds for public libraries from the current two-thirds vote to 55%, similar to the authority currently given to K-12 schools for bonds.”

“Libraries are busier than ever and it is critical that we give communities the tools to build or renovate libraries, in order to address the growing demands of our patrons.”  (Feel free to insert a local example of construction needs of your library.)

I would really appreciate the Senator’s support for the measure when it comes up for vote on the Senate Floor during the final month of Session.  Thank you for taking my call.”

[Note:  If you reside in the districts of Senator Ben Allen, Bob Hertzberg, Jerry Hill, Mike McGuire, or Bob Wieckowski, please use your call to thank them instead for being a co-author of SCA 3.]



1)    Use the following link to find your Senator:

2)    There is a “Homepage” link and a “Contact” link next to each Senator.  Click on the “Contact” link for your Senator.

3)    You will be taken to a page that requests your first and last name, address, city, zip, etc.  Complete those fields. 

4)    On the “Select an Issue” drag-down, choose “Submit a comment on legislation.”

5)    Click “support” on the bubble provided.  (We had some technical issues getting this part to work for us.  Proceed with #6 below, even if the bubble doesn’t work.)

6)    Write your note in the box below and click “send.”  Here is a sample text that you could use:

“Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on SCA 3 by Senator Dodd.  This measure is sponsored by the California Library Association and is currently on the Senate Floor awaiting a vote.   SCA 3 seeks to lower the vote threshold for local construction for public libraries from the current two-thirds vote to 55%, similar to the authority currently given to K-12 schools for bonds.  SCA 3 would make a big difference in communities like ours, which are challenged to keep pace with the growing needs of our library patrons.  The last statewide construction bond that was passed by the legislature and the voters, was in 2000 and it only provided $350 million worth of funding – for more than $4 billion worth of library construction need.  Please help support “local control,” by allowing communities the ability to decide whether or not to approve bonds for library construction.  I respectfully request your support of the measure when SCA 3 comes up for vote on the Senate Floor.  Thank you.”  

Thank you for your help!  Every call and email is important for SCA 3’s success!