Governor Eric Greitens has proposed cutting nearly $3 million dollars in state funding for libraries in order to get a balanced budget for the state.
Director of the Kansas City Public Library, Crosby Kemper, says in the past the Kansas City Public Library system received roughly $100,000 from the state.
But due to the budget deficit, it receives only half of that. It’s a problem Kemper says isn’t a new issue.
“In recent years, that's been very challenging, Governor Nixon has sequestered half our money,” Kemper said. “Governor Greitens has sequestered about half of it right now because of the budget problems.”
Kemper says although these new proposed cuts doesn’t put a large dent in the KC public library system, these funding cuts could cause quite the burden on smaller libraries across the state.
“This cut is not huge to the Kansas City Library,” Kemper said. “It is really huge to a lot of smaller rural libraries that don’t have the local support we have that can’t spread it across the large overhead. The internet connection in a small rural library, now will be at risk because of these cuts. The ability to buy new books will be at risk to these smaller public libraries around the state.
The Kansas City Library stated they have been in contact with the Governor’s office and hope to have a sit down conversation to discuss the potential cuts in library funding.
Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.