State Watch

Florida county commissioners vote against giving local libraries New York Times digital subscriptions

A group of county commissioners in Florida on Tuesday voted against funding a digital subscription to The New York Times for 70,000 residents who are library cardholders.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the Citrus County commissioners voted 3-2 against having the county allot about $2,700 towards a digital subscription instead of its current print subscription for local libraries.

Reports of the county commissioners considering rejecting The Times in the local libraries made national news earlier last month when a commissioner cited his support for President Trump as his reasoning for being against the measure.

Tuesday's vote occurred after commissioners decided to reconsider the measure for digital subscriptions following public outcry over the commission's decision at the previous meeting.

"I don't want the New York Times in this county. I don't like them. It's fake news," commissioner Scott Carnahan said last month. 

Commissioner Brian Coleman added: "I support President Trump. I would say they put stuff in there that's not necessarily verified."

Several demonstrators came to the commissioners meeting Tuesday to voice their displeasure with the proposal to fund the digital subscription for The Times, according to the local news outlet.

The commissioners noted that since the libraries already have hard copies of The Times, they were not censoring anything by opting against funding the digital subscriptions.

Instead of citing Trump and "fake news" this time around, the commissioners instead said their decision was a financial one.

"The bottom line is I'm not backing down. I'm not voting for this," Carnahan said Tuesday, saying he didn't want public money going towards any news subscriptions.

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