Touting his job-creation record, Governor Rick Scott says it’s time to cut taxes. But with questions about both the state's unemployment rate and education spending being lower than before the Great Recession, Democrats say the Governor’s priorities are off.
In Miami-Dade, an active social media campaign and vocal supporters at town halls have saved public libraries from budget cuts - for now - after the county commission decided to raid its reserves. So was Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrong to declare that the "age of libraries was probably ending?"
After an 8 1/2-hour public hearing, Miami-Dade County commissioners found a way to keep its library system essentially intact early Wednesday morning while also not raising taxes.
In July, commissioners voted to hold the line on taxes, but that meant laying off firefighters, abandoning plans for a no-kill animal shelter and cutting hours, services and jobs from the library system. In the weeks that followed, all three became hot issues, but it was the libraries that dominated Tuesday night's public hearing. Librarian Jennifer Lopez said patrons would be devastated.
Hoping to soften the blow of expected library closings due to county budget cuts, the Miami-Dade School Board may open some of the district’s facilities after hours to fill at least part of the coming void.
Some 14 Miami-Dade libraries are slated to close as County Mayor Carlos Gimenez grapples with tight finances.
The issue has been among the most scrutinized aspects of Gimenez’s 2014 budget proposal, which won’t be set until September.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who on Tuesday will hold the first in a series of town hall meetings about next year’s budget, says three county fire-rescue ambulances that were slated to be eliminated for cost savings have been saved.
The Fire Department still faces a $15 million budget deficit, so some firefighters are still likely to get pink slips, the mayor said. But the number could be about half of the 149 positions originally projected for elimination to plug the hole.
In the minutes of last Tuesday’s meeting of the Miami-Dade Commission, it reads, “In libraries, these adjustments will result in the reduction of hours of service and closure of 10 storefronts and up to 12 other libraries.” Meaning, to avoid increases in property taxes, the commission proposes to eliminate 22 of its 49 public library branches.
With budget cuts impacting public libraries all over the country, this summer is not only your traditional reading season – it’s also a time for thinking about reading.
The State of the Book at Spinello Projects will exhibit physical books as precious, engaging objects – works of art you can touch – and will encourage people to sit, read and ruminate on the future of printed matter.