The Law Library budget is almost $1.5 million lower this year than in 2009. This will be the third fiscal year in a row where we receive about 40% lower funding from San Diego Superior Court filing fees.
We’ve had to make substantial changes to our services because of this almost 40% decline.
- The East County and South Bay branches have closed to day-to-day reference assistance.
- Database subscriptions have been restricted or cancelled.
- The North County branch has had restricted hours of operations.
- Employees have not been replaced when they retire.
- We’ve cut our subscriptions to many books.
We are working with our fellow county law libraries throughout the state to ask the state for additional funding. This would be a one-time payment to the libraries in an amount equal to the difference between their current fiscal year receipts and the amount they received in Fiscal Year 2009.
The Governor did not add the requested funding in the recent version of his budget. However, we’ve had success with the Senate Budget subcommittee that oversees law libraries. They’ve approved a $16.5 million allocation for the county law libraries throughout the state. The next step is going to the full Senate Budget Committee and repeating the process with the Assembly Budget Subcommittee and the full Committee on Budget.
You can help by contacting the members of the full Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. Additionally, you can contact the members of the State Assembly Committee on Budget. Their Subcommittee 5 is focused on Public Safety and they will consider the request first.