Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, Ref-Mahopac) is pleased to announce that funding for library construction grants have been fully restored to $34 million after the Assembly and Senate passed a budget clean-up bill (A8434/S06616) with Byrne’s support.
“Libraries are one of the greatest resources in our community,” said Byrne. “They provide a large variety of tools, training and assistance to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. They are also an important place which helps bring our communities together. I will remain vigilant in Albany to ensure the needs of our public libraries are not ignored.”
The 2019-2020 Enacted Budget which passed earlier this year had slashed the funding traditionally allocated for library construction grants. These grants are used to assist public libraries rehabilitate, renovate or complete sorely needed construction on its buildings. In some cases, the construction is required to make the libraries compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Upon being informed of the restoration of funding, Brewster Public Library Director Gina Loprinzo stated, “Assemblyman Byrne has shown his commitment to libraries by his support of a bill to restore the $20 million cut to the State Aid for Library Construction Program proposed by the Governor. This support at the local level is crucial to maintaining the funding needed for libraries to continue the vital services they provide throughout the state. We are fortunate to have Assemblyman Byrne in our corner!”
Patricia Hallinan, Library Director of the John C. Hart Memorial Library added, “Our community has benefited greatly by library construction aid. Projects approved in 2017 and 2018 are being implemented this year to make our bathrooms handicapped accessible, improve lighting throughout our public space and install some needed safety features. We anticipate water consumption and energy savings while making the interior of our building safer and more attractive. Our library is largely funded through property taxes. These projects could not happen without additional state support.”
The budget fix passed both the Assembly and the Senate on June 20th.