The Assembly - State of New York
Member of Assembly
6th District
April 2003
A message to the community...

Thank you for contacting me regarding Governor Patakiís proposed budget that would cut aid to our local libraries. While New Yorkís stagnant economy is forcing everyone to make tough choices, we canít afford to make the wrong choices. The governorís 15 percent cut to Long Island libraries is absolutely the wrong choice.

Long Island libraries have struggled to serve the growing needs of an ever-increasing population, while state funding has remained stagnant for the past decade. During the past two years library usage has increased 20 percent, yet the governor wants to cut millions in state aid to libraries across the state. The Suffolk Cooperative Library System could lose more than $560,000 in state aid. I am extremely concerned about the following cuts Governor Pataki has proposed:

  • Abandoning low-income families who rely on SuffolkNet for public access to computers and the internet at their local public library
  • Cutting NOVEL at 4,000 libraries statewide ó New Yorkís first electronic library that provides easy, fast access to state-of-the-art information
  • Eliminating Books for Babies, summer reading programs, and literacy programs
  • Leaving 45,000 students and their teachers without Inter-Library Loan services

The Assembly and I are dedicated to helping libraries enhance their technological capabilities, update their facilities, and ensure increased access for all library users. Programs like Baby Steps help provide our children with enhanced learning experiences and ensure our libraries are equipped with the most up-to-date resources.

I share your concern that the governorís library cuts will jeopardize a vital community resource. If the governorís cuts are enacted, library funding will drop to a level not seen in a decade. In todayís world, Long Island families need access to modern technology and information. I will continue fighting the governorís ill-advised cuts and work to provide Long Island families with access to quality libraries and services.

Assemblyman Philip Ramos

Philip Ramos
Member of Assembly