By Rep. Thomas Stanley
The budget recently passed by the legislature was disappointing and harmful to organizations and agencies that depend on state aid. Residents across the Commonwealth will feel the effects of various cuts for a long time to come.
As legislators, we need to be very careful about the various overrides that we consider. However, there is one override that should be taken up by the legislature.
I recently joined 110 of my colleagues in signing a letter supporting an override of the Governor’s veto to state aid to regional public libraries, which reduced the appropriation by $2.25 million.
Public libraries are important to our communities, especially in these tough fiscal times. For example, folks can use computers, newspapers and journals at the library to search for jobs. Libraries often offer educational events and programs for individuals, families and children, which are free of charge. The Waltham Public Library (WPL) offers computer classes which teach people valuable skills to help them get better jobs and seminars to help those without jobs to write better resumes, network and ultimately find new employment. There are many events for children which include magic shows, play groups and crafts, to name just a few.
To see a complete list of the many activities offered at the Waltham Public Library, please click here.
Libraries play a vital role in bringing communities and people together and I hope the legislature overrides this hurtful veto. There are simply too many benefits offered by public libraries to justify a $2.25 million cut. And in Waltham, where more than 28,000 residents own library cards according to the WPL’s website, this cut will be especially hurtful considering these difficult economic times.
Rep. Thomas Stanley, D-Waltham, is also a city councilor.