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State budget update

Posted By Christi Buker, Friday, June 30, 2017

Last night the PA Senate put forward their numbers for the 2017-18 state spending budget.  Here’s a snapshot of library line items:

 

Senate version

Change from 2016-17 budget

Public Library Subsidy

$54,470,000

 

No change

Library services for visually impaired & disabled

$2,567,000

No change

Library access

Power Library, IDS (interlibrary loan service), statewide catalog

$3,071,000

 

No change

Note: This line was proposed to be cut by $461,000 (15%) in the original House version

Office of Commonwealth Libraries

$1,866,000

 

Reduced by $139,000 (6.9%)

 

The PA Senate has approved these spending figures and the House of Representatives is expected to vote this afternoon and approve these numbers.  It will then go to the Governor for his signature.  We do not anticipate any “blue-line” changes by the Governor to the library lines since these are the same amounts he proposed (except for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries) back in February.  The Legislature will still need to vote on revenue bills which will likely occur after the July 4th holiday. 

The good news is that we got funding for library access (details above) restored to the same level as last year.   More than 60% of all state budget lines were cut this year and some were completely eliminated.  So, to achieve this restoration of funding, a lot of people worked very hard.

Thanks go to members of the Pennsylvania Library Association for supporting our advocacy efforts through a portion of their dues investments.  That critical investment allows us to utilize the professional services of Greenlee Partners – who literally texted me at 11:30 pm to share the good news!

I’d also like to thank the Legislative Information Committee members who volunteer their time to consider talking points, strategy, and spear-heading our efforts.  Finally, I am grateful for each of you who reached out to your legislators, in some cases multiple times, to share how much your community needs and values your library and the amazing work that you do! 

Please keep sharing your stories, and even your struggles, so that we can help all Pennsylvania Libraries and move PA Forward!

 

Christi Buker | Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association
christi@palibraries.org 

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