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BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPROVES FUNDING FOR LUNCH AT THE LIBRARY & CAREER ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL
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June 11, 2018


TO: CLA MEMBERS/ SYSTEMS/ NETWORK CONTACTS

FROM: Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE: News From the Capitol – Budget Update



BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPROVES FUNDING FOR “LUNCH AT THE LIBRARY” AND “CAREER ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL”


At the State Capitol, on Friday, June 8th, the powerful Budget Conference Committee wrapped up their deliberations on the 2018-19 State Budget after the two Democratic Leaders and the Governor reached an agreement on the terms of the overall package.  As part of those negotiations was a decision to fund the popular “Lunch at the Library” program using $1 million in “one-time” Budget funds (versus “ongoing” funds) and $1 million in “one-time” funds for Career Online High School.  This money is in addition to the $9.5 million public library funding package in the Budget that we have been reporting on over the course of the last few months, which will provide new funding for broadband connections and increased speed for libraries, resource-sharing, and family literacy.


Earlier Friday morning, the Governor issued a press release, announcing the agreement between his office and Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon:  “After detailed discussions, California is on the verge of having another on-time, balanced budget. From a $27 billion deficit in 2011, the state now enjoys a healthy surplus and a solid Rainy Day Fund.”   The 10-member Budget Conference Committee was scheduled to convene on Friday at 10 a.m., which was subsequently pushed to 5:30 p.m., and then finally 8:30 p.m. The Conferees took formal votes on hundreds of “open items” and concluded their work at 12:15 a.m.


As previously reported, Senator Holly Mitchell, the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee had requested $1 million for the “Lunch at the Library” program, after requesting detailed information regarding the program from State Librarian Greg Lucas earlier in the year.  While Senator Mitchell had requested that the money be “ongoing” in nature, the Governor was reluctant to commit to many new areas of funding in an ongoing capacity. As Governor Brown prepares to leave office at the end of the year, putting together a prudent final Budget was essential to him; and he preferred the use of “one-time” dollars for this purpose and for many other programs.   The motion to fund Lunch at the Library at $1 million passed on a 10-0 vote.


The Budget Conference Committee also voted 10-0 to provide $1 million in one-time funding for Career Online High School.  


The Budget bill, SB 840, and numerous related “trailer bills” to the Budget will be taken up later this week, in order to meet the Legislature’s constitutional deadline of sending a Budget to Governor Brown for his signature by June 15.  CLA would like to thank Governor Brown, the legislative leaders, the Director of Finance Michael Cohen, and the Budget Conference Committee for their support this year.