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Top tags: budget  federal funding  Keystone Grant 

State budget passed!

Posted By Christi Buker, Monday, June 25, 2018

The state budget for 2018-2019 passed the House and Senate on Friday and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf.  It is level funding for three of the specific library lines and a small increase (4.4%) in the State Library which was cut last year by 6.9%. 

 

HB 2121 – passed both House & Senate

Change from 2017-18 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 delivery service), statewide catalog

$3,071,000

 

No change

 

Office of Commonwealth Libraries

$1,949,000

 

This is an increase of $83,000 (4.4%) after last year’s cut of $139,000 (6.9%)

 

 

The good news – the budget is done prior to the June 30 deadline and operations can proceed without fear of delays and stalemates.  Existing revenue sources will support this budget without any tax increases.  With the upcoming election for the PA House of Representatives and the Governor, it was clear that the legislature was not interested in a drawn-out budget negotiation process, and we are pleased to see this positive accomplishment!

While recent years of proposed cuts have made us grateful to have avoided the chopping block, the need for stable, and better funding for libraries remains at the forefront of our advocacy priorities. With the assistance of our lobbying firm, Greenlee Partners, and the volunteers on the legislative committee, we are working on plans for next year’s budget to make improvements.  That means that for the rest of 2018 we are asking you to help demonstrate how libraries uplift and support their communities.  Highlight the work you are already doing for early learning, workforce development, health literacy including mental health, STEM programs, technology access, and community support to name a few.   Be sure to include the other side - you can’t continue this work or meet the growing needs without proper funding. 

A special advance notice for you about this year’s annual conference in Harrisburg, October 14-17.  There will be a significant advocacy and legislative push.  Conference registration will open July 21 and the various trainings, press conference, and Capitol events will be detailed in the materials.   Please plan to participate and help us set the stage for why libraries deserve greater investment!  Pennsylvania LIBRARIES move PA Forward!

Your membership – both individual and organizational – helps support the advocacy work that we do on behalf of all libraries and library staff in Pennsylvania.  If you are a member, thank you, and if you aren’t please consider joining forces with us – www.palibraries.org.

Tags:  budget 

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Governor's 2018-2019 Budget Proposal

Posted By Christi Buker, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Governor Wolf presented his proposed budget for 2018-2019 to a joint session of the PA House and Senate yesterday.  Here are the proposed numbers -

Budget line

Governor’s proposed

2018-2019 budget

Change from

2017-2018 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

Office of Commonwealth Libraries

$1,949,000

4.4% increase

(2017-18 had a cut of 6.9%)

 

This is just the beginning.  The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will hold hearings on March 5 and 6 regarding the Department of Education budget lines.  It is possible the Legislature will make changes to these lines, and we will be utilizing the services of Greenlee Partners to help advocate for more resources for libraries.  The process of negotiations for the whole budget and potential adjustments will continue for several months. 

The Legislative Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association will be meeting next week to plan priorities and activities.  2018 will include a strong push for advocacy and awareness of the great work that libraries and library staffs provide as community pillars.  Please send us your stories – successes and challenges, pictures and quotes, so that we can use these in our conversations with legislators.

Tags:  budget 

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Governor Proposes Modest Boost; Ambitious Advocacy Will Be Needed

Posted By Glenn Miller, Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Speaking before the Pennsylvania General Assembly on February 4, Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his budget plan for Fiscal Year 2014-15. His budget would spend about $29.4 million, an increase of about 3.3% overall. Some parts of the revenue side of his plan are viewed as controversial and may face an uphill climb in the legislature.

For libraries, funding for library line items remains stable if not modestly improved. The total amount proposed all library programs in Governor Corbett’s budget is $61.3 million up modestly from this year’s total amount of $61.1 million. Specifically, here’s what the Governor proposes for library programs for next year:
  • $54,007,000 Public Library Subsidy ( up $500,000 / + 1%)
  • $  2,821,000 Library Access ( down $250,000 / - 8% )
  • $  2,567,000 Library Services for the Visually Impaired and Disabled / ( level-funded )
  • $  1,938,000 Office of Commonwealth Libraries ( down $19,000 / - 1% )

So taken together, the Governor’s budget would increase library funding at the state level by a net of $231,000 over this current year’s budget. For the Public Library Subsidy, although it is a modest increase, nevertheless it represents the first time a governor has proposed any increase in the subsidy since 2007.

Here’s the bottom line for right now. In the coming days, PaLA’s Legislative Committee, government relations advisors, and board leaders will agree on a strategy to build on the plan put forth by Governor Corbett. Recognizing that the political environment in Harrisburg remains largely unreceptive to requests for increased spending, PaLA believes that an ambitious approach targeted at improved access to library services could succeed.

It’s an election year and the governor’s budget always represents the starting point. While it is positive to see our overall budget line going up instead of down, clearly we have work ahead of us. With the economy improving—slowly but surely—and demand for library services greater than ever, this election year is an opportune time to press our elected officials to support improved access to all that libraries provide.

Thank you for your membership and strong support for all of PaLA’s advocacy efforts. Stay tuned for more specific details about PaLA’s strategy along with some important actions you can take to start us down the path to success.

Tags:  budget 

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New 2013-14 State Budget Adds Funding for POWER Library, State Library

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, June 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013

Boosts Reverse a Six-Year Trend of Funding Reductions

A state budget for 2013-14 has passed on-time and, for the first time in six years, some library funding increases—albeit modest ones—are included.

The new state budget will:

  • level-fund the Public Library Subsidy at $53,507,000;
  • level-fund Library Services for the Visually Impaired & Disabled at $2,567,000;
  • increase funding for the State Library by $11,000 up to $1,957,000, (+ 0.5%); and
  • increase funding for Library Access/POWER Library by $250,000 up to $3,071,000 (+8.9%.)

The increase for the Library Access line item is particularly good news since PaLA has been pushing hard for several years to recharge POWER Library after the damage done by budget cuts. This increase will not solve the problem overnight but will help to rebuild a vital online resource for Pennsylvania library users, especially students.

PaLA recognizes that much work remains in the years ahead to improve and modernize library services that the public lost during the Great Recession. This budget outcome represents a bit of progress and, at the very least, successfully bends the funding curve back in a growth direction, even in the face of a slower-than-expected economic recovery.

The outstanding efforts of library advocates helped to secure this increased funding—the first increases of any kind since 2007. Thank you!

Tags:  budget 

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PaLA Supports No-Cuts Budget; POWER Library Boost

Posted By Joe Sherwood, Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013

No Library Cuts Proposed for First Time Since 2007
PaLA Supports Level Funding & POWER Library Boost


The General Assembly recently completed hearings on the 2013-2014 Pennsylvania budget. Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis appeared before the Appropriations Committees of the State Senate and House of Representatives to answer questions about education issues and funding. Representatives from PaLA and our lobbying consultants, Greenlee Partners, have begun a series of meetings with key legislators and staff members, as well as some administration officials to underscore the importance of library services and the funding required to provide good library services to students and the public. We’ll also continue to educate key decision makers about PaLA’s initiative, PA Forward, highlighting the link between libraries and literacy, and how better-leveraged libraries can move our state forward.

By every indication, 2013 shapes up to be another difficult budget year. The Governor’s proposed budget of $28.4 billion represents an increase over this year of 2.4%. However mandated and growing line items, such as Medicaid and state pensions, consume an ever-increasing share of the budget (so modest overall increases really don’t go very far). Additionally the Governor’s plan balances the next budget by assuming the legislature will approve plans to restructure state pensions, privatize the state liquor system, and raise wholesale fuel taxes. These and other hot topics will almost certainly lead to extensive debates in Harrisburg this spring.

With this as the backdrop, PaLA’s Legislative Committee met to weigh these factors and develop a plan of action for the next budget. The committee recognized that Governor Corbett’s budget plan related to libraries—while not increasing our funding—represents the first time since 2007 that a budget was put forth that proposed no new cuts to library funding. While some may see that as small consolation, nevertheless it is a positive sign in an economy which is still struggling to gain momentum.

As things stand right now, our funding would remain level for next year. But that very well could change. Why? As noted above, the Governor’s budget proposal requires major legislative action and if such action is not achieved, then the budget plan’s revenues and spending would be out of balance and other revenue (taxes) or new cuts would be needed.

Make no mistake about it. Level funding in this environment is not the worst outcome and we are not out of the woods for sure. We ask for your help with your elected officials

PaLA’s Legislative Committee also concluded that, even with the current economic realities, it is important for this and future years to keep making the case for improving library services. As such, the committee agreed that seeking an increase for Library Access to bolster the quality of POWER Library makes the most sense in this still-tight budget environment. Increasing funding for POWER Library has appeal because:
1. Even a modest funding increase could improve public and school library services broadly across the state;
2. This is technology-based service which most decision-makers like;
3. POWER Library enjoys strong support among public and school librarians who are willing to advocate for it; and
4. This request will be viewed as credible and not a pie-in-the-sky proposal that would be dismissed out of hand in this tight fiscal environment.

So this spring, PaLA will pursue a two-pronged strategy:
1. Protecting level funding for the Public Library Subsidy, for the State Library, and for Library Services for the Visually Impaired and Disabled;
and,
2. Seeking increased funding to improve the quality and quantity of electronic resources offered statewide through POWER Library.

To achieve these two goals, we need your help. It’s easy to do. Send an email to Governor Corbett and to your State Senator and State Representative. Please take a few brief minutes to send your message—expressing support for the no-cuts, level funding budget proposal, and seeking increased support for POWER Library. As always, please remember that we need to speak as one voice to be successful. The more pro-library voices we raise, the greater our chances for success. Thank you.

Tags:  budget 

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