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Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees Approve Library Funding for CLSA
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May 24, 2016 



FROM:         Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
                     Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist 




This morning at the State Capitol, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance approved, without discussion, $1.8 million in “ongoing funding” for the California Library Services Act and $3 million in “one time funding” for CLSA to encourage innovative “digital delivery” projects among the 8 regional Systems.  The vote of the Assembly Subcommittee was unanimous (5-0).  Last week, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance also approved the same funding motions for the CLSA on a unanimous vote of 3-0. 

You will recall that when Governor Brown unveiled his 2016-17 Budget in January, he included the two proposed augmentations for the CLSA mentioned above.  The Governor’s Budget indicated that the funding for the Systems should be used to “strengthen statewide and regional services for public libraries.”  When we spoke with the Governor’s Department of Finance representatives, they said that they hoped the California Library Services Board, who would be tasked with administering the funds, would award the funding to the Systems for creative projects, including e-Resource sharing, digitization, and others. 

While the $3 million is one-time in nature (meaning that it must be spent in Budget year 2016-17), it is an opportunity to launch some promising projects that could have some sustainability for the future.  The $1.8 million in ongoing funding will be added to the current baseline funding of $1.8 million in the Act, for a total of $3.6 million.  The Subcommittees did not approve new funding for broadband grants this year. 

In next steps, the Senate Budget Committee met most of today to address several major “open” items that will need to be voted on prior to sending their version of the Budget into the “Conference Committee” process.  (The Assembly will hold their hearing this Thursday).  The Budget Conference Committee is the annual process by which the two houses attempt to reconcile the differences between the Senate Budget, the Assembly Budget, and the Governor’s Budget.  The Conference Committee will likely commence hearings after the Memorial Day weekend in order to meet the Constitutional deadline of June 15 to have the Budget passed and sent to the Governor.  At this point in time, because the Senate and the Assembly adopted the exact same action on the CLSA items, we anticipate that this funding will remain in the Budget.

We will keep you posted in the weeks to come on the annual Budget process.