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Your Help is Needed - Contact Legislative Leaders To Save Library Budget Funding
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May 15, 2012

FROM:             Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                        Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE:                 News From The Capitol
As reported yesterday, due to the state’s $15.7 billion deficit, the Governor’s May Revision of the State Budget does not contain any proposed funding for public libraries – most specifically, there is no funding in the State Budget for the California Library Services Act, nor the Public Library Foundation, nor the state literacy services program. Because of this situation, not only are these programs in jeopardy, but so is approximately $16 million in federal funding. 
CLA members, trustees, friends groups, literacy advocates, and the UCLA students are to be commended for your letter-writing efforts and participation in the “Time In the District” events with legislators. The 8 members of the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance each received several hundreds of letters, and these same legislators were very supportive of the public library funding issues when they were heard recently in subcommittee. 
We need your help once again! Now begins the next phase of Budget negotiations, where it will be essential to impress upon members of the legislative leadership how important it is to preserve vital library services. The Budget Subcommittees will be closing out their work next week (by approximately May 24 or slightly after that) and the Chairs (Assemblywoman Bonilla and Senator Liu) will be working very closely with the Leadership and the Chairs of the larger full Budget Committees in each house.
CLA will continue to request that these leaders restore $15.2 million in funding for public libraries in the State Budget – an action that will protect a corresponding $16 million in federal funds. A one page summary describing some of the important highlights of each program can b found here. Please feel free to use it as a resource when writing your letters to the legislators listed below. (If you have already sent a letter(s) to the members of the Budget Subcommittee, simply use the body of that letter and merely change out the addressees.) Public libraries will be competing with other areas that have been hard hit by the Budget cuts over the last few years, such as health and human services, trial courts, etc. so please indicate what you feel will be some of the negative effects should these library programs cease to exist (e.g. literacy programs will shut down and thousands of adult learners will go unserved, the regional system of sharing resources will disintegrate and libraries may choose to implement an expensive non-resident library card fee, etc.)
Please take a moment today to write the following legislators. Deadline for these letters ideally, is Thursday, May 24, although letters after that date will still be effective. Thank you for your help!
Send your letters to:
The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
Senate President pro Tempore
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA.   95814
Fax: (916) 323-2263
The Honorable Bob Huff
Senate Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 305
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 324-0922
The Honorable Mark Leno
Chair, Senate Budget Committee
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 445-4722
The Honorable Bill Emmerson
Vice Chair, Senate Budget Committee
State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 327-2187
The Honorable John A. Perez
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2146
The Honorable Connie Conway
Assembly Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 3104
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2134
The Honorable Bob Blumenfield
Chair, Assembly Budget Committee
State Capitol, Room 6026
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2140
The Honorable Jim Nielsen
Vice Chair, Assembly Budget Committee
State Capitol, Room 6031
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2102