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June 6, 2006 election results
California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2006 fails -- disappointing news for California libraries

On Tuesday June 6, California voters did not approve Proposition 81 – the California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2006.  Final results were very close, 46.9 in favor to 53.1 opposed.  A simple majority was needed for approval.    Through the sale of general obligation bonds, the state would have provided $600 million of grants to local governments to construct new libraries or expand or renovate existing libraries.  Local agencies would have contributed about $320 million of their own funds toward these projects.

State Librarian of California Susan Hildreth states of the vote:  “I am saddened although not completely surprised. Early polling this year showed that the vote might be close, but with great grassroots efforts and support from the “Yes on Proposition 81 Campaign,” the California Library Association, the League of Women Voters, the California Teachers Association and others, I was optimistic that this very valuable and necessary measure would be approved.”

We know there is a growing demand for library services and for welcoming library facilities to respond to that demand.  California State Library staff will continue to provide technical assistance so that local library jurisdictions can meet their capital and service needs.

There was some good news on Election Day for the National City Public Library.  Director Anne Campbell reports that a 1% increase in the city’s general sales tax was approved by a resounding 58%.  This increase will allow restoration and expansion of public service hours in their new main library that was partially funded from the Library Bond Act of 2000.






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