The Legislature unveiled their respective budget proposals yesterday. The Senate has proposed to restore $4.2 million and the Assembly has proposed no restoration of the $8.45 million in Library Aid cuts. The Assembly has rejected the Governor’s proposal to divert Library Materials Aid for computer software and textbook purchases by school districts and the Senate has accepted the Governor’s proposal.
The results are definitely a mixed bag for libraries. The next step in the process is the convening of Legislative Conference Committees, where the Assembly and Senate are expected to resolve the differences in their budget proposals. Because the Assembly did not include any restoration of Library Aid in their budget proposal, it will make it more difficult for the Senate to keep their partial restoration included in a final budget agreement.
Please contact the Senate to both thank and urge them to keep the restoration in the final budget and the Assembly to castigate them for abandoning libraries and to amend their budget proposal to match the Senate’s $4.2 million restoration. Visit www.nyla.org to send new revised letter by fax or email.