Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has written a letter to the Speaker of the Assembly, Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), strongly encouraging the full funding of libraries in this year’s budget.
Gov. Cuomo has proposed to cut $4 million from library aid in his Executive Budget proposal. Sixty legislators from around the state, including Hawley, have signed onto the letter.
“…According to libraries in my district, New York State Education Law requires Library Aid for FY 2017-18 to be $102.6 million…the current level, a reduction of $4 million, at $91.6 million, places library aid at 2000 funding levels,” Hawley wrote.
“...Our constituents, who range from toddlers to the elderly, depend significantly on the services provided by our libraries. We are sure you would agree that each and every New Yorker should be afforded equal access to the internet, ESL courses, and literacy classes offered by our libraries.”
Hawley, a strong proponent of community libraries, argues that libraries are essential to providing students and adults, especially in rural areas, with access to broadband Internet and other educational resources and strengthen the communities in which they are based.
“Libraries are one of those unique public resources that can be used by everyone and offer a plethora of educational and leisure opportunities that help to enrich our society and create a stronger, more educated New York State,” Hawley said.
“Local libraries often serve as public meeting spaces for various local groups, provide classes, videos, books, high-speed Internet access and research materials for students. One of the cornerstones of our advanced society is the ability to explore through education, and we mustn’t hinder that ability.”