Apparently Jerry Brown thinks so. The Sacramento Bee published an article by Dan Walters titled “Once Again, California Libraries Face Cuts” that begins…
It is, as the inimitable Yogi Berra observed, “deja vu all over again.”
Thirty-one years ago, advocates of local libraries persuaded the Legislature to appropriate $18 million to save them from wholesale shutdowns.
Libraries had traditionally been financed by city and county governments, but in the wake of Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limit initiative, local governments had slashed spending for libraries.
The $18 million appropriation in 1981 didn’t survive, however. Then-Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it, contending that “state government is perilously close to an unbalanced budget.”
Brown took some sharp criticism for his action. A week earlier, he had signed legislation that gave California’s horse-racing industry a $15 million tax break. The industry’s lobbyist, James Garibaldi, had claimed that tracks faced financial disaster without the indirect subsidy of a tax cut.
As posted earlier, Brown’s new budget completely wipes out library and literacy funding.
What do you think? Would you rather have a public library or horse racing? Let us know in the comments.
Posted by Jody Meza, City Librarian