Yes, it’s that time of year again. The snow rests heavily on the branches of the pine trees and your glasses fog up when you enter the house. That can only mean one thing – the Governor has released his annual executive budget proposal and included cuts to library funding!
This is a bit of a tradition for Governor Cuomo, who has celebrated the New Year for five straight years by attempting to cut our funding – this year by 7.5%! And every year, librarians assemble, much like the popular Marvel superheroes the X-Men, to meet with local state representatives in Albany to explain why instead of a decrease, we want an increase to our funding! Then, sometimes, the state legislature adjusts the budget accordingly in the Spring to include a more appropriate budget for our services, and so on. It’s like a game of ping pong, except it’s not fun, lasts a couple months, and there’s no real winner! Ok so it’s nothing like ping pong.
Obviously this year we will not be attending the annual legislative day in Albany due to restrictions put in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will be meeting with our representatives remotely. In order to make my job easier in lobbying for proper funding, it would be helpful if people like Senator Rachel May and Assemblyman John Salka could hear our patrons describe the essential nature of our services directly.
You can take action by clicking this link. Here’s some quick talking points if you don’t go with the premade form on the web:
90% of our state residents consider their library as a core component of their local infrastructure
On average, libraries spent more than the proposed cut on Personal Protective Equipment despite not having proper funding to do so
Locally we continue to host G.E.D. tutoring, technology help, government document access and printing
And I would write more but I’m pretty sure I’m above my weekly 350-word limit. Thank you in advance for reaching out to our State representatives. Thank you for reading and stay safe, Hamilton!