California Governor Jerry Brown released a proposed budget for FY 2011-12 on Monday that would eliminate all state funding for public libraries. This would mean the loss of $30.4 million for three of the state’s most important public library programs, including the Public Library Fund ($12.9 million), California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Services ($4.6 million), and the California Library Services Act ($12.9 million).
In a statement on the governor’s website, Brown defended his proposal. Whatever.
Public criticisms have been made by American Library Association president Roberta Stevens and Paymaneh Maghsoudi, the president of the California Library Association (CLA) and the director of the Whittier Public Library.
Other programs not spared by the budget ax, include health-care programs such as Medi-Cal as well as $500 million cuts to both the California State University and the University of California. The only sectors to avoid cuts were K- 12 education and (surprise!) the state’s prison system.
The legislature is scheduled to take action on the budget by March.