From Arkansas Online:
Legislative leaders and Gov. Asa Hutchinson have agreed to restore a $1 million cut in state funding for libraries and a $1 million cut in state funding for senior citizen centers.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, and House Speaker Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, on Friday said the agreement was reached in negotiations with the Republican governor on the proposed state general revenue budget for fiscal year 2017, which starts July 1.
Last year, the Legislature reduced state general revenue funding for public libraries from $5.6 million to $4.6 million and for the Department of Human Services’ Aging and Adult Services Division from $17.6 million to $16.5 million in the current fiscal year.
Earlier this week, [Sen. David] Burnett told lawmakers that libraries are much more than a repository for books.
In rural Arkansas, public libraries provide access to computers and the Internet, and “our libraries are essential to the needs of our people,” he said.
“It’s absolutely a shame if we don’t support our public libraries,” Burnett said.
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