Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (90th AD Ossining), Chair of the Assembly Libraries and Education Technology committee, called today for one more member of the New York State Assembly to shift his/her position and join her 99 Assembly colleagues in restoring library funding and preventing the loss of over $500,000 in federal library aid.
"When the Assembly met in September to initiate an override of the Governor’s education vetoes, we were only one vote short. I have heard from many of my colleagues who voted against the attempt to override in September, will now demonstrate that sentiment by making their willingness to vote in favor of library funding known," said Galef.
The Governor vetoed a legislative restoration of $4.4 million in funding to New York State libraries and library systems. This cut in state funding would result in a corresponding 5% cut amounting to $500,000 in federal library aid, making the cut to statewide aid $4.9 million.
"Throughout the month of October my committee held a series of hearings to hear from Libraries about the impact of these cuts and the negative effect they would have on their ability to provide services to their communities," stated Galef. "Overwhelmingly the libraries and library systems have urged the legislature to restore state aid and ensure the continuous flow of federal dollars. The federal aid will only remain whole if formula based state aid to libraries is restored."
The budget bill containing the restoration of aid to libraries was passed by the Assembly in August with 140 votes in the affirmative and only 5 in opposition. When the override vote was taken six weeks later the number of supporters had dwindled to 99. "If just one of the members who changed their position on funding libraries would join with the Assembly Majority and support a full restoration of library aid, it would make a significant difference," stated Galef. "With eight years of flat funding, libraries in New York State cannot afford a 5% cut."