Program:                Grant to Grand Rapids public library

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$64,800

 

GF/GP:

$134,400

 

Total:

$199,200[33]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds a grant that provides an operating subsidy to the Grand Rapids Public Library, in addition to what it receives from the “state aid to libraries” line item below.

Recommended Action:

This appropriation should be eliminated.  There is no reason that Grand Rapids should enjoy any more state dollars for its library services than does Traverse City, Sterling Heights, or Ishpeming.  In addition, libraries need not be public entities.  Private libraries do exist, and have throughout our nation’s history.  Indeed, one of America’s first lending libraries, established in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin, was created as a civil institution for the betterment of mankind, thanks to the private donations of individuals and to fees paid by users.  Regardless, local units of government could thrive without state subsidies.  Those who benefit the most from such services (local users) should bear the burden of funding those institutions.  Savings: $199,200.

Program:                Grant to Detroit public library

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$935,200

 

GF/GP:

$1,941,900

 

Total:

$2,877,100[34]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds a grant that provides a special operating subsidy to the Detroit Public Library. 

Program Recommendation:

This appropriation should be eliminated.  While Gov. Engler deserves enormous credit for reducing this subsidy from $5.8 million in fiscal year 1996, more can be done.  In fact, the program should be eliminated.  There is no reason that Detroit should enjoy any more state dollars for its library services than Traverse City, Sterling Heights, or Ishpeming.  In addition, libraries need not be public entities.  Private libraries do exist and have throughout our nation’s history.  Indeed, one of America’s first lending libraries, established in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin, was created as a civil institution for the betterment of mankind, thanks to the private donations of individuals and fees paid by users.  Regardless, local units of government could thrive without state library subsidies.  Those who benefit the most from such services (local users) should bear the burden of funding those institutions.  Savings: $2,877,100.

Program:                State aid to libraries

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$13,327,000

 

Total:

$13,327,000[35]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the state aid to libraries program.  This program is a function of Public Act 89 of 1977, known as the Michigan State Aid to Public Libraries Act.  It is the library equivalent to the state’s revenue sharing program to local governments.  The state distributes funds to Michigan’s 300-plus local libraries to assist in their operations.

Recommended Action:

This appropriation should be eliminated.  Libraries need not be public entities.  Private libraries exist and have throughout our nation’s history.  Indeed, one of America’s first lending libraries, established in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin, was created as a civil institution for the betterment of mankind, thanks to the private donations of individuals and fees paid by users.  Regardless, local units of government should not receive such state subsidies.  Those who benefit the most from such services (local users) should bear the burden of funding those institutions.  Savings: $13,327,000.

Program:                Subregional state aid

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$561,200

 

Total:

$561,200[36]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds special services to the blind and to others with disabilities.

Recommended Action:

The state should eliminate this appropriation.  Individuals, institutions and businesses can and do help people with disabilities out of a deep concern for their welfare, not because the state insists upon it.  Livonia’s Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a good example.  It is dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy among the blind.  Seedlings provides high-quality, low-cost Braille books for blind children so that blind and sighted family members may read together.   Few of Michigan citizens may realize the degree to which such organizations, and the kind people who associate with them, can and do provide assistance to people with disabilities without state intervention.  They could do more, too, if government didn’t crowd them out with high taxes and programs such as this.  Savings: $561,200.