Residents encouraged to take action in response to $6.6 million in library funding cuts

Residents encouraged to take action in response to $6.6 million in library funding cuts
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Staff members at the Joplin Public Library are encouraging residents to take action in response to $6.6 million in funding cuts.

The cuts come as Governor Jay Nixon withholds $1 billion of the legislature’s 2015 budget, in an attempt to cover budget shortfalls.

Nixon froze $3.5 million in a fund that helps libraries statewide with general bills.

Another $3.1 million was frozen from the Remote Electronic Access for Libraries program that funds technology.

Some Joplin residents say their biggest question for the governor is to where exactly the funds will be diverted.

“When you take something a way from the people, it’s really a tragedy, especially if you’re not willing to establish what your basis for doing so is,” said John Barker, Joplin resident. “The people have an absolute right to know.”

Lawmakers say although the funding is withheld, Nixon could release some of the funding as revenues increase.