02 Jul 2018

News From the Capitol

June 29, 2018


FROM:           Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyists

RE:                 News From the Capitol – Budget Update




On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2018-19 State Budget at a press conference, flanked by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting, and Senate Budget Chair Holly Mitchell.  The Governor, nearing the end of his final term in office, stated, “When I took office back in 2011, with the state facing a $27 billion deficit, I pledged to work with the Legislature to fix California’s financial mess.  Today, the final Budget I sign delivers on that pledge and prepares us for the future.” The 2018-19 Budget bill is one of the strongest in terms of its funding for public libraries in many years.

Here are some of the highlights of the newly signed Budget:

These items, included in the signed Budget, were part of the negotiation reached between CLA, the State Library, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the Governor’s Department of Finance:

  • $2 million in one-time funding for broadband connection grants for public libraries to connect to the high-speed, broadband “backbone” operated by CENIC
  • $3 million in one-time funding to increase broadband capacity for libraries connected to CENIC that are in need of upgrading (e.g. from 1 gig to 10 gigs)
  • $1.5 million in one-time funds for resource-sharing under CLSA (Intended to be earmarked for the Zip Books program and a program to digitally connect library catalogues.)
  • $2.5 million in ongoing funding for family literacy
  • $500,000 for an E-rate coordinator position at the State Library, and to address Public Utility Commission imposed taxes and surcharges associated with the library membership in CENIC.

These items below are also included in this year’s 2018-19 Budget and were the result of requests by individual Assemblymembers and Senators:

  • $1 million in one-time funds for the “Lunch at the Library” program, which supports libraries in developing summer free-meal programs. “Funding will help libraries connect with meal sponsors and the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and establish a free-meal program.”
  • $1 million in one-time funds to support and expand the Career Online High School program.
  • $1 million in one-time funds to support a two-year pilot project that will provide competitive grants to nonprofit organizations for the purpose of establishing a student author book publishing program. “The program would support 1,000 students from public housing developments in writing short stories and publishing anthologies of the work.”
  • $1 million in one-time funds to support completion of the Felton Library and Nature Discovery Park.
  • $500,000 in one-time funds to support operations of the Braille Institute Library in Los Angeles.

A special “thank you” to Governor Brown, Director of Finance Michael Cohen, State Librarian Greg Lucas, the Legislature, and CENIC for their assistance and support this year.