Our options for affordable books are disappearing faster than publishers' willingness to print them. It's hard enough to find bookstore in some parts of the county, but now Borders is bankrupt and who knows how much longer Barnes and Noble can stay out of the red? The options for cheap movies are not much better. Blockbuster is reorganizing in bankruptcy court and Netflix is offering so many different membership plans it seems like they have to be in trouble. But if you thought the private sector's choices were dwindling, get a load of the public sector's assault on reading and film.
We always suspected elected officials were not fans of reading or documentaries, but now it seems like the goofballs in the Florida House of Representatives are intent on proving it. They are proposing to slash the state budget for libraries by 60 percent. That's close to two thirds of the total $21 million budget for the mathematically challenged, and would leave a paltry $8 million budget, guaranteeing that books would be as hard to get as they are unpopular in Tallahassee.
The House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations
Subcommittee - you know the committee which doles out state dough -
already adopted a preliminary position in favor of the cuts. It's not
the first time in recent years the house has taken a pitchfork to our
libraries money bags. In 2008, they proposed cutting $10 million from
the library budget, but that was when the budget was $32 million. Now,
they're looking to gut the budget much further.
According to the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library, should the
cuts go through it will mean branch closings in large and small counties
alike, and the elimination of Internet services in some libraries.
Anybody up for going back to flipping through the card catalogue and
trying to decipher the Dewey Decimal system? Yeah, we didn't think so.
The cuts would probably mean a death knell to things like the Florida
The only positive about the proposed cuts is that they were adopted
early in the legislative session meaning the mooks who approved them can
still be convinced otherwise. Cultist says write them and give them
Here's who to direct your vitriol at:
Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee
Rep. Mike Horner (r), Chair: (407) 943-3077 / (850) 488-8992
Rep. Ritch Workman (r), Vice-Chair: (321) 757-7019 / (850) 488- 9720
Rep. Richard Steinberg (d) - From Miami Dade: (305) 535-5445 / (850) 488-0690
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.