Legislative Updates

State Budget Updates

FY16 State Budget- the same unfortunate story

The  State Budget for FY16. 
Governor Christie recently signed the FY16 State Budget into law. Unfortunately, there was no positive news for our library programs.  Last year the Legislature had recommended additional funding which the Governor subsequently veoted.  This year, unfortunately, the Legislature didn't even recommend that funding. NJLA is extremely disappointed that our state per capita aid program has not had any funding restored in the state budget since the initial cuts in FY10.  This will make the sixth straight year of reduced funding for this vital program.  The FY 16 budget number for library programs remain at:

  • The amount of funding for the NJ Library Network remained unchanged at $4,299,000.
  • The amount for funding for the State Per Capita aid program is unchanged at $3,676,000
  • The amount of funding for the operational NJ State Library is $5,194,000.
  • State funding for library programs was significantly reduced in the FY11 state budget by 42% from the amount in the FY10 budget.
  • The proposed FY15 budget keeps funding for library programs at the FY11 level.

Patricia Tumulty, NJLA Executive Director,  testified before both budget committees urging restoration of state support for local libraries. See:http://njla.org/content/testimony-fy15-state-budget.

Recently Enacted Library Legislation

P.L. 2011, c.38 (S2068/A2679/A3240)

Provides dedicated line item on property tax bill to fund municipal free public libraries and joint free public libraries. Primary sponsors Senator Nia Gill ( District 34), Assemblyman Uprendra Chivukula ( District 17),Assemblyman Ruben Ramos ( District 33), Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle ( District 37) and Assemblyman Frederick Scalera ( retired). Co-sponsored by Senator Sandra Cunningham ( District 31) and Assemblywomen Amy Handlin ( District 13), Mila Jasey ( District  27) and Assemblymen John McKeon ( District 27), Jason O’Donnell ( District 31), Thomas Giblin (34).

Signed 3/21/2011.

P.L. 2010, c. 83 (A2911 / S2070)

Requires transfer of municipal free library surplus amounts above 20% to municipality for its general purposes, which may include property tax relief. Sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Prieto ( District 32), Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (District 32) Senator Nicholas Sacco (District 32) Senator James Beach (District 6).Passed both Houses of the Legislature on June 28, 2010.NJLA opposed this legislation for several reasons. The legislation was unnecessary since it amended a voluntary process which had been working very well for several years. The new legislation removed protections for county libraries and removed over site by the New Jersey State Library.  This legislation was subsequently conditionally vetoed by Governor Christie. Veto message at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/A3000/2911_V1.HTM. The Governor put back many of the safeguards which the library community requested. Amends P.L. 2008 c. 8. S429/A1265 signed into law on April 7, 2008. The Assembly passed the bill with the Governor’s recommendations on Sept. 20, 2010. The Senate passed the bill with the Governor’s recommendations on Oct. 18, 2010. The bill was signed by Governor Christie on Oct. 27, 2010 as P.L. 2010, c. 83.

 Information from the NJ  State Library at: http://lss.njstatelib.org/lss_files/MUNICIPAL%20AND%20JOINT%20LIBRARY%20...

For a packet about Return of Funds: http://lss.njstatelib.org/lss_files/ReturnOfFundsPacket08092013.zip

P.L. 2011, c.224 (A3971/S3110).

Prohibits municipal library trustees from transferring donated funds to municipality. Prime sponsors were Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (District 19), Assemblyman Daniel Benson ( District 14) and co-sponsors by Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (District 17), Senators Joseph Vitale ( District 19), Nia Gill (District 34), Diane Allen (District 7) and Linda Greenstein (District 14.)

P.L. 2009, C.141

Concerns Citizen Service on Municipal Authorities, Boards and Commissions. Requires municipal officials including library trustees to take an oath of office.


P.L. 2013, c.56 (S1358/A2971)

States that a municipal public library established by referendum can only be dissolved by the voters of a community through a referendum.  The legislation provided a parallel dissolution structure for municipal libraries which had been already provided under both joint and county library legislation. Sponsors of this legislation were Senator Joseph Pennacchio (District 26), Senator Jeff Van Drew ( District 1), Assemblyman Craig Coughlin ( District 19), Assemblyman Albert Coutinho ( District 29), Assemblywoman Mila Jasey ( District 27) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (District 20). Signed into law by Governor Christie on May 9, 2013

NJLA Supports the Following Legislation




Creates the option to make a voluntary contribution for the support of local libraries on gross income tax returns. Sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano (District 20) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (District 37).  Additional sponsors Assemblymen Daniel Benson (District 14) Troy Singleton (District 7), Gilbert Wilson (District 5), Reed Gusciora (District 15), Angelica Jimenez (District 32), Upendra Chivukula (District 17), John McKeon (District 27) Craig Coughlin (District 19) and Assemblywomen Mila Jasey (District 27), Pamela Lampitt (District 6), and Nancy Pinkin (District 18).  Voted out of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee on Feb. 6 and by the full Assembly on  Feb. 27, 2014 with a vote of 74-0.

S1803 (companion legislation). Sponsored by Senator Jeff VanDrew (District 1) was voted out of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on March 17. S1803/A1314 was passed by the full Senate on May 12 with a vote of 39-0.

This bill was signed into law on Sept.10. 2014 by Governor Christie. It is now P.L. 2014 c.47.

Sadly we must wait one more year for this legislation.  The New Jersey State Library has been informed by Treasury that the checkoff box which permits individuals to make voluntary contributions to public libraries on their tax forms will not be on the tax form for 2014 taxes. It will be on the tax form for 2015 taxes which will be available in January of 2016.   So, we will have to wait until about this time next year to provide you with further information. For more information contact Victoria Rosch at vrosch@njstatelib.org



A1861 enacts the "Reader Privacy Act" Sponsored by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (District 35), Assemblywoman  Mila Jasey (District 27) and Assemblyman Daniel Benson (District 14). Additional sponsors are: Assemblywomen Shelia Oliver (District 34),  Grace Spencer (District 29) Cleopatra Tucker (District 28) and Assemblymen Ralph Caputo (District 28),Gregory McGuckin (District 10) Paul Moriarty (District   and John Wisniewski (District 3).




A2227  Makes a supplemental appropriation of $ 3 million for increased Per Capita Aid support to public libraries.  A2227 is sponsored by Assemblymen Troy Singleton (D) District 7.

S430 is identical legislation and is sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (District 7), Senator Anthony Bucco (District 25),  Senator Jennifer Beck (District 11), Senator Shirley Turner (District 15), Senator Peter Barnes (District 18), Senator Christopher Bateman ( District 16), Senator Jeff VanDrew ( District 1), Senator James Beach, (District 6 ), Senator James Holzapfel (District 10), Senator Sandra Cunningham ( District 31), Senator Joseph Kyrillos (District 13), Senator Fred Madden (District 6), Senator Linda Greenstein (District 14), Senator Samuel Thompson (District 12)  and Senator James Whelan (District 2). NJLA is actively seeking additional sponsors for this legislation.  These are the first bills in many years which seek to restore funding to the library state per capita aid program.


A222  "New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act" authorizes issuance of 125,000,000 in general obligation bonds to finance capital projects at public libraries; appropriates $5,000.  Sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngleo ( District 14) Additional sponsors are:  Assemblymen Thomas Giblin (District 34), Troy Singleton (District 7), Jamel Holley (District 20), Daniel Benson ( District 14) Gordon Johnson (District 37) Assemblywomen Shovonda Sumter (District 37) and Annette Quijano (District 20)..It has been referred to the Assembly State and Local  Government Committee.




A1427 Permits increase in municipal free public library tax upon voter approval. Sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (District 37).



NJLA Opposes the Following Legislation


Revises requirement that Library tax be assessed against equalized value of property. Sponsored by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (District 19). Referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.


Would require municipal governing body approval of new municipal free public library capital projects. Sponsored by Senators Joseph Pennacchio and Stephen Sweeney. This bill was referred to the Senate Community and urban Affairs Committee.

Federal Legislation

ALA District Dispatch

Keep up to date on federal legislation with the ALA District Dispatch: News for Friends of Libraries.


 With the passage of the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015 the expired parts of the USA Patriot Act were restored and renewed through 2019.However, Section 215 of the law was amended to stop the NSA from continuing its mass phone data collection program.  phone companies will retain the data and the NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court.Signed by President Obama on June 3, 2015