Greetings NYLA Members:
Wednesday, Governor Cuomo released his FY2016-17 Executive Budget proposal & accompanying legislation. This signals the start of state budget negotiations. Though the Governor proposed an additional $992M in education funding in this year’s budget, a 4.3% increase over last year, he once again proposed flat funding for State Library Aid. The good news is that as a result of your strong advocacy efforts, we were able to ensure that the $5M in additional funding, we worked so hard to secure last year, was included in his proposal. Our libraries are critical to the state’s educational infrastructure. We need YOU to TAKE ACTION NOW and let your elected officials know that State Library Aid must be treated fairly in this year’s final budget – State Library Aid MUST increase in proportion to any increase in overall education funding.
From the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal:
Library Aid – $91.6M
The proposed funding is equal to what was in last year’s enacted state budget. This proposed funding fails to acknowledge the crucial role libraries serve in our communities, and the contributions they make to our state’s education system. Libraries ARE Education! State Education Law requires that Library Aid should be $102.6M for FY2016-17. Libraries should be fully funded under the law. Absent of that, library aid must at least increase each year in parity with increases in education funding.
Library Construction Aid – $14M
As you know, funding for the State Library Construction Aid program has remained stagnant for nearly a decade, at $14M annually. Once again, the Governor proposed flat funding for this program. The State Division of Library Development estimates that library renovation and construction needs are $2.2B statewide. Over 48% of public libraries in NYS are 60+ years old, and an additional 33% are 30+ years old. Investment in the Library Construction Aid program must be increased to address aging infrastructure, energy inefficient buildings and the evolving ways people use libraries.
NOW is the time for YOU to SPEAK UP and let your legislators know that state library aid MUST be treated fairly and equitably in this year’s state budget!
This is an election year, and your elected officials need to know that you VOTE FOR LIBRARIES.
TAKE ACTION NOW! With less than 30 seconds of your time, you can send a letter to your elected officials and legislative leaders.
Without your voice, library funding is vulnerable in this year’s budget.
As always, NYLA is relying on its members to take action, and contact your elected officials through NYLA’s online advocacy tools, encourage your colleagues and patrons to participate in these actions. Encourage everyone to “Get on the List” NYLA has developed, and visit nyla.org/advocacy for updates. When engaging with your elected officials, it is important that you discuss the great work you and your library are doing, and to also stay on message by using the talking points we have on our website. For those of you on social media, we have posted a set of tweets that we encourage you to use, and tweet at your local Assemblyman and Senator.
LIBRARY ADVOCACY DAY is Wednesday, March 2, 2016! Come to Albany and make your voice heard!
New York Library Association
6021 State Farm Road
Guilderland, NY 12084
518-432-6952 Ext. 101