SOS – Save Our Shelves (and publications, staff positions, and hours)
The California Governor’s Budget May Revision will be released this week. Help for California county law libraries will be missing from that document. The Council of California County Law Librarians’ request for financial assistance in face of drastic revenue reductions over the past decade has not been heard. Yet. The pleas directed toward Sacramento for financial aid for county law libraries need to be louder, stronger – dare I say it – the voices need to be HUGE.
County law libraries have been funded historically by a share of local civil case filing fees. The dollars the libraries now receive have dropped 40% over the past few years while the costs for purchasing legal resources have soared. To make up for the drop in revenues, the libraries are asking to receive, for the first time, a small share in state tax revenues.
We need letters!!
In order to be influential for the current budget planning process, any letters from supporters will need to get to the Governor and appropriate government decision makers within the next two weeks. We need your help if any financial relief is to be included in next fiscal year’s final state budget.
It has been suggested that library supporters should focus on contacting:
- Senate Present Pro Tem Kevin de Leon – http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/contact/email
- Speaker Anthony Rendon – http://asmdc.org/speaker/contact/contact-anthony
since they will negotiate the final budget with Governor Brown’s staff.
Also, since the budget will be voted on by the Budget Committees in each state legislative house prior to going to a conference committee, it would be great if supporters would contact:
- Senators Mark Leno, Chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee – http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/
- Senator Loni Hancock, Chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 5 – http://sd09.senate.ca.gov/contact
- Assembly Member Phil Ting, chair, Assembly Budget Committee – https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD19
- Assembly Nora Campos – https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD27
And finally, it was suggested that County Supervisors (individually, if not as a body) might be willing to contact the leaders in Sacramento to support the county law libraries’ cause. We urge you to approach your supervisors and ask them for a letter of support.
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 1 (Scott Haggerty) – https://www.acgov.org/form_app/feedback/feedback.jsp?id=BOSd1
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 2 (Richard Valle) – https://www.acgov.org/form_app/feedback/feedback.jsp?id=BOSd2LDir
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 3 (Wilma Chan) – https://www.acgov.org/form_app/feedback/feedback.jsp?id=BOSd3
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 4 (Nate Miley) – https://www.acgov.org/form_app/feedback/feedback.jsp?id=BOSd4
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 5 (Keith Carson) – https://www.acgov.org/form_app/feedback/feedback.jsp?id=BOSd5
Other suggested contacts include –
Michael Cohen, Director of the California Department of Finance – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jim Nielsen, Vice-Chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee – http://nielsen.cssrc.us/content/my-offices
Assembly Member Travis Allen, Vice-Chair, Assembly Budget Committee – https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD72
But, but… What should I say?
Open the following link for some suggestions for text for your emails or letters – letter_support_county_law_libraries
Thank you for your assistance with keeping California county law libraries thriving and able to serve the needs of their many patrons.