HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell urged members of the General Assembly to include support for Pennsylvania libraries in the final state budget, saying a budget proposal by Senate Republicans would slash library funding to an 11-year low.
“Along with the Democrats in the House and Senate, I am fighting for a $68 million library subsidy,” Rendell said during a visit to the East Shore Area Library in suburban Harrisburg. “I know that amount is less than last year’s subsidy, but with a $3.2 billion deficit, all programs must share in the cuts. I have worked hard to protect libraries to the greatest extent possible.”
Without an adequate level of state support, the governor said libraries across Pennsylvania would be forced to trim staff, reduce operating hours and curtail book purchases. He said many libraries offer important resources that help the unemployed to find new jobs.
The continuing budget impasse is having a serious impact on the state’s district library centers, which are forced to go without state funding until legislators pass final spending plan. The governor urged legislators to avoid passing a budget that “shortchanges Pennsylvania’s families.”
“Our state budget impasse is really a fight for Pennsylvania’s future,” the governor concluded. “I refuse to agree to a budget that makes devastating cuts in programs that support children, families and job-seekers – the very strategies that will enable us to compete and thrive in the future. While doing so might allow us to bring a quick end to the budget impasse, it would come at the expense of the next generation of Pennsylvanians. And that would be the worst thing we could do for our economy in the long-run.”
For more information on the governor’s budget proposal, visit here.