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Valley Public Radio Staff
Quality of Life
Tue March 1, 2011
On Quality of Life: Prop 13; Future of Libraries
Part I: Prop 13 - Thirty three years ago, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13 into law, ushering in a new era of California politics and forever changing state and local government. Not only did the constitutional amendment cut property taxes nearly in half, its implementation also ushered in a major change in the way government services are provided, in the Golden State, centralizing more power in Sacramento. It also helped spark a wave of so called “ballot box budgeting” with citizens taking control of the power of the purse, in both setting tax rates and spending priorities. Reporter Tracey Scharmann looks at the local impact of Prop 13 in a special feature report. Later, host Joe Moore talks about legacy of the proposition with Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters; Paul McIntosh, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties; and David Klein of the California Taxpayers Association.
Part II: Public Libraries - Valley residents have relied on free access to information at local public libraries for over 100 years. And despite the changes in media over the past century, from videos to the internet to ebooks, in many cases, library use continues to rise. However, like most arms of local government, the Valley’s public libraries are now facing their own set of tough challenges. Not only are declining sales and property tax revenues having a negative impact on library budgets, but the new Governor’s proposed state budget also has some significant reductions in store for libraries. Laurel Prysiazny, County Librarian for the Fresno County Public Library, and Sherry Gomez, Deputy Director for the Kern County Library join us to talk about the potential impact of cuts on users, and on how libraries are evolving to meet the needs of a new generation of users.