Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Share |

July 18, 2019



FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol



The California state legislature has departed Sacramento for a one-month “Summer Recess.”  When lawmakers return on August 12th, they will process hundreds of pieces of legislation before the conclusion of the 2019 legislative session on September 13.  The Governor will then have until October 13 to sign the bills sent to him in the final weeks of session.  Prior to the legislature’s departure, the Senate, Assembly and Governor Gavin Newsom came to an agreement on a $214.8 billion budget which provides funding for education, housing, health care, clean drinking water, disaster response, etc. as well as several important library programs, including new budget funding for early childhood education programs at public libraries. 

When Governor Newsom signed the State Budget, he issued a press release stating, “The driving idea behind this budget – and my first year in office – is to combat the cost crisis and maintain fiscal discipline.  This is a responsible budget that saves for challenging times ahead while investing in the present-day needs of working Californians.”

The Governor has placed a focus on early childhood education in his Budget, which was also an issue embraced and supported by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and the Legislative Women’s Caucus.  In February, we secured an important meeting that was led by CLA President Michelle Perera and CLA Legislative Chair Sarah Vantrease, and other early childhood library leaders, to discuss issues with the Governor’s Senior Advisor for Early Childhood.  The group talked at length with her about the various programs that public libraries are offering in the early childhood learning space. 

CLA was quite pleased when Governor Newsom proposed $5 million for this purpose in the May Revision of his Budget.  (It should be noted that Governor Newsom is the first Governor to ever include funding for early childhood learning – specifically directed to public libraries – in a proposed State Budget.)  The inclusion of this funding was the result of CLA’s meeting with the Governor’s Senior Advisor, plus outreach to the Department of Finance, as well as the effective work of State Librarian Greg Lucas who spoke with numerous high-level Administration officials about potential funding. 

Another library champion for CLA this year is Senate Budget Chair Holly Mitchell who encouraged Governor Newsom to include $1 million in “one-time funds” in his January Budget to continue to fund the popular “Lunch at the Library” program.  The $1 million was eventually approved by the legislature and is incorporated into the 2019-20 Budget.

Here are some of this year’s highlights from the 2019-20 Budget:

  • ·“One-time funding to support Early Learning and After-School Library Program Grants - $5 million one-time General Fund to support grants for local library jurisdictions with the lowest per capita library spending to develop and implement early learning and after-school library programs.”
  • “One-time funding to support Mobile Libraries - $3 million one-time General Fund for the California State Library to support grants for local library jurisdictions to purchase bookmobiles and community outreach vehicles that would be used to expand access to books and library materials in under-resourced
  • neighborhoods.”
  • “Lunch at the Library - $1 million General Fund one-time for library districts to develop summer meal programs for students in low-income communities.”
  • “Online Service Systems - $1 million General Fund one-time for online systems for use by public libraries to support efficient access to resources.”  (e.g. Zip books)