Jensen Disappointed By Failure To Invest In Libraries In Governor’s Budget Proposal

A Statement from Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C,I-Greece)

“Yesterday, Gov. Hochul unveiled her first state budget proposal. While there was plenty to be encouraged by, including funds for health care, nursing homes, education and infrastructure, there is still reason for concern. One of my disappointments is the treatment of New York's libraries.”

“Over the past 22 months, libraries across our state have continually put those they serve first. Whether adapting to online programming, expanding e-collections and providing internet access when it was lacking, libraries have been there for their community when needed most. In a budget proposal that raised state spending by $4 billion, libraries would receive only a $2 million increase in aid, and worse, a $20 million decrease in construction aid. This would have a devastating impact on the ability of communities to invest in libraries that meet 21st century needs, and the need is felt in every community of our state. On a recent statewide tour of libraries with the chairs of the Assembly and Senate Library Committees, I heard from libraries in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse on how communities are in need of libraries to be all things for all people, often outside of traditional services.”

“Failure to invest in libraries is a failure to invest in our communities. It will now fall on the Legislature to fight, in a bipartisan manner, to restore this funding and more to ensure New York state has libraries that continue to meet the needs of those they serve now and into the future.”