With Mid-Year Cut, California Reduces State Funding for Libraries to Zero
California Governor Jerry Brown announced Tuesday a mid-year, $16 million cut to state library funding, which essentially eliminates all remaining state funding for the California Library Services Act (CLSA), the California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Service, and the Public Library Foundation (PLF). Last year the programs received $30.4 million.
The budget Brown first proposed in January called for this very scenario: the elimination of all state funding for library programs. But the legislature and Brown compromised and agreed to a budget, signed June 30, that cut funding 50 percent. But now even that money is gone, as California, with its zero funding, has topped Texas, where Governor Rick Perry and the legislature in July cut state funding for library services by 88 percent.
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In terms of next steps, we will wait for the Governor’s presentation of the January Budget and then we will then need to begin the arduous process of trying to build funding back in to the 2012-13 Budget for libraries. The process will be similar to that of years’ past wherein the Budget subcommittees will hold hearings on various funding areas in the Budget, beginning in March. Their deliberations will conclude around Memorial Day, with the full Budget Conference Committee (a two-house committee) then convening the first part of June to address differences between the Governor’s Budget and the actions of the subcommittees.The legislature will return to the Capitol to begin the 2012 session on Wednesday, January 4. After the first of the year, we will provide you will instructions regarding key legislators to contact to encourage their support of putting library funding back in the Budget.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.