Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dear Library Advocate

As you may know, $5 million in Library Aid was cut in the Governor's proposed 2008-09 Executive Budget. These funds were added by the Legislature last year as a result of the advocacy efforts undertaken by NYLA and the library community. These advocacy efforts included meetings with legislators in district offices, writing and faxing letters in support of NYLA's Budget Priorities to legislators, attendance at Library Lobby Day, recognizing legislators support through displaying the READ posters, in library newsletters and press releases, and financial contributions from the New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC to key legislators.

The cumulative impact of all these advocacy efforts resulted in the $5 million increase last year, the second consecutive annual increase in Library Aid in over 10 years. We must now continue these advocacy efforts again this year to restore the $5 million in Library Aid. So if you have not already done so, please fax a letter either via NYLA's Online Advocacy Center at (click on contact your elected officials button) or mail letter to your legislators (sample letter can be found at NYLA's Advocacy Page/Tools.

Now is the time to be contacting your legislators leading up to Library Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 11th. Please make every effort to attend this year's event (details can be found on NYLA's website). Listed below is timeline for Legislative actions related to the adoption of the State Budget.

Feb. 26th - Senate and Assembly release their revenue projections for 2008-09
Feb. 29th - Consensus must be reached on revenue projections or State Comptroller estimates are used.
March 12th - Senate and Assembly vote on their budget bills/resolutions setting out their priorities
March 13th - Legislative Joint Budget Committees start meeting to resolve differences between their budget versions.
March 26th - Legislative Joint Budget Committees recommendations to be completed.

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