California Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2011-2012 budget containing big cuts to California public libraries. The budget reduced state funding for local libraries to $15.2 million from $30.4 million last year.
Brown originally proposed getting rid of all state funding for California public libraries back in January so this could be seen as good news that libraries will still be getting any state funding at all. The California Library Association was heavily involved in getting the legislature and the Governor to agree to the $15.2 million in funding instead of the proposed elimination of state funding. Unfortunately, the budget has automatic “trigger bills” that will cut off all state funding for libraries if certain tax revenue targets are not met.
So libraries in California are now faced with great uncertainty regarding their funding. They will bascially have to wait until January to find out if they will have state support or not. This will make budget planning quite challenging for the upcoming year. Better to have this challenge than to not have state funding at all.