To celebrate National Library Week, Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) today announced that he has successfully worked to secure over $19 million in funding for the libraries of New York State. This money was included in the Senate budget and the Assembly agreed to the funding during budget negotiations.
A key component of the funding is the Senate's plan to use 2000 census numbers to allocate library funding. By discontinuing the use of 1990 census information, the change will allow library funding to accurately reflect changes in population. This will allow the state to better fund those libraries who saw an increase in the community they serve.
The recently approved budget allocates an additional $2.6 million in funding to cover any increased costs associated with population growth. This budget allocation, which was pushed by Senator Flanagan, will protect the funding levels for those libraries who may have lost population.
"As people move around our region, we need to make certain that growing libraries are provided with the additional funding they need to provide necessary services. This funding will be provided by the State without jeopardizing existing library resources. As learning centers for our children and the community, we must make sure that all our libraries are fully funded," stated Senator Flanagan.
The Senate initiated package also adds $3 million in funding for library systems throughout the state and $14 million in additional funding for capital projects for the coming fiscal year. The funding for the library systems will assist school districts and public libraries throughout the state. It will also add greatly to the academic, research and resources systems across the state.
Funding for capital projects will allow libraries to modernize and expand if necessary. Due to the work of Senator Flanagan and his colleagues, this funding is an increase of $13,000,000 over the average yearly amount of $800,000 that the state annually allocates.
"Libraries are an integral part of our communities. They serve as our educational meeting places and our community centers and New York State must make sure we continue to provide them with needed funding," stated Senator Flanagan.