Legislative Updates

State Budget Updates

FY17 State Budget

The  FY17 State Budget has been proposed and there is no positive news for library funding.  For the 7th straight year,  funding for library programs has been at a reduced level. NJ ranks 34 in the nation for state aid to local public librareis.  There were numerous legislative visits made this spring and some legislators did place in resolutions for additional funding but unfortunately to no avail.

 State funding for library programs was significant reduced by 42% in Governor Christie’s first budget in FY11. Since that time no additional dollars have been allocated for library funding. The  budget provides:

  • The amount of funding for the NJ Library Network is 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.

The New Jersey Library Association urges additional funding for our per capita aid program which strengthens all public libraries in New Jersey. NJLA is proposing a $3million increase for this program in the FY17 state budget.

2016 NJLA State Legislative Initiatives

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. 2014 c.47 (A1314/1813)

P.L. 2014 c.47 (A1314/1813)

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.


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


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). The bill was voted out of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee in Feb.

Patricia A. Tumulty, Executive Director of NJLA testified on A1861 indicating that NJLA could not support this legislation unless it were amended.  (Testimony attached)

S1383 the Senate companion bill is sponsored by Senator Nia Gill (District 34).  It is in the Senate Commerce Committee.





A2227  Makes a supplemental appropriation of $ 3 million for increased Per Capita Aid support to public libraries.  A2227 is sponsored by Assemblymen Troy Singleton, District 7, Wayne DeAngelo ( District 14), Herb Conaway (District 7), John Burzichelli ( District 3) Joe Danielsen (District 17, Jerry Green (District 22) Gordon Johnson (District 27) John McKeon (District 27) Jack Ciattarelli (District 16) Assemblywomen Annette Quijano (District 20), Mila Jasey (District 27), Elizabeth Muoio (District 15), Marlene Caride (District 36). This bill has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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 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) , Senator James Whelan (District 2) and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (District 5) . 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. This bill has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

A2227/S430 Increasing Per Capita State Aid for NJ Libraries



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), John Burzichelli (District 3), John Wisniewski (District 19), Joe Danielsen (District 17), John McKeon (District 27), Jack Ciattarelli (District 16), Carig Coughlin (District 19),  Assemblywomen Shovonda Sumter (District 37), Annette Quijano (District 20), Mila Jasey (District 27) and Patricia Egan Jones (District 5)

This bill was reported out of the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on April 4.  Assemblymen Singleton, Holley and Eustace voted for the bill. Assemblymen Carroll and Webber voted against the bill.

The bill will now go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S2171  is the senate companion to A222. It is sponsored by Senator Christopher Bateman (District 16), Senator Linda Greenstein (District 14), Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (District 5), Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (District 29) and Senator Joseph Vitale (District 19). It is now in the Senate Urban and Community Affairs Committee

Important Documents:

Pat Tumulty's Testimony on A222/S2171

NJLA's Position Page for A222/S2171


A1427 Permits increase in municipal free public library tax upon voter approval. Sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson (District 37), John Burzichelli (District 3), Joe Danielsen (District 17), John McKeon (District 27) Jack Ciattarelli (District 16), Craig Coughlin (District 19) and Daniel Benson (District 14)  and Assemblywomen Mila Jasey ( District 27)  Elizabeth Muoio (District 15) and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (District 37)

This bill has been referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee. This bill was released from the State and Local Government Committee on June 6, 2016.  This bill was passed by the full Assembly on Sept. 29 by a vote of 52-14  with 5 abstaining and 9 not voting.

S2633 Is the Identical legislation that has been introduced in the NJ Senate.  This bill is in the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. Senator Loretta Weinberg (District 37) and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (District 5) are prime sponsors.Senator Jeff Van Drew ( District 1) is a co-sponsor



Requires certain ratios of school library media specialist to students in public schools.

Prime sponsors Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (District 35) and Benjie Wimberly (District 35).  Referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

Federal Legislation

ALA District Dispatch

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