Legislators and the governor announced yesterday that a deal had been done to dip into reserve funds to restore $1 million cuts from both library and senior center budgets in 2015 to pay for a capital gains tax cut that primarily benefits wealthy people.
This means the money will be available in the fiscal year beginning July 1.
A way had been found to prevent the loss of senior center money in the current year, but libraries lost 18 percent of state funding this year. It was a big blow to some small libraries, particularly.
Using reserve money isn’t an ironclad guarantee for maintaining the support on a continuing basis, but it is something.
This never should have happened in the first place. Coddling the rich by hitting old folks and libraries? It’s a piece with the income tax legislation that gave breaks to everyone but the bottom 40 percent of wage earners. It’s a piece with Republican refusal to consider an earned income tax credit for poor wage-earners. It’s a piece with saving Obamacare money, not so much for the benefits for people covered by health insurance as to retain cash to build highways and finance future tax cuts (but, yes, still, thanks.)
Democratic Sens. Bobby Pierce and David Burnett had been among the lead agitators for restoring the money and were prominent in the announcement. They face Tea Party challengers in November. Kind of Gov. Asa Hutchinson to let them share in the moment.