State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) says the new state budget includes significant support for local libraries and rejects the governor’s proposal to cut $4 million from library funding.
Ritchie says the budget has $1 million more for libraries than last year’s budget.
She said that as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, “I have been working hard to make sure our libraries can continue to provide educational opportunities, family friendly entertainment, job-searching tools and of course, plenty of books.
“Supporting our libraries is critically important, and I’m thrilled that this vital funding was included in the State Budget so our libraries—which in many regions, are the centers of communities—can provide the services taxpayers rely on.”
That funding is in addition to $14 million in new funding for the library construction program.
Last year, Ritchie says, she was successful in securing more than $160,000 in special funding for libraries in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Oswego counties.
The senator, whose district includes Ogdensburg and the St. Lawrence County towns of Canton, Gouverneur, Oswegatchie, Waddington, Lisbon, Madrid, Louisville, DeKalb, DePeyster, Hermon, Edwards, Fowler, Rossie, Macomb, Morristown, and Hammond, says there are more than 7,000 public libraries in New York State, including more than 50 public libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, one of the largest concentrations of public libraries in any Senate district in the state.