The Legislative Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association met in July and again last week. Since the state budget spending plan was approved prior to July 1, we had been hopeful that the related revenue plans to pay for it would be close behind. Unfortunately, disagreements between the House and the Senate did not make that happen.
Since increasing the personal income tax is not an option that either body is willing to consider, the plans for generating revenue are much more limited. The first House version which included utilizing the balances in various funds was voted down by the Senate. Unfortunately, the lack of a completed budget did not help Pennsylvania’s credit rating, and it was downgraded after September 15.
The good news is that district library centers did receive their payments prior to September 15. The other good news is that this week is the first time that both the PA House and Senate will be in session in Harrisburg at the same time in quite a while. It sounds like they will be very busy at work this week, and we hope to have more to share soon.
In the meantime, please remember that it is budget preparation season for most government entities. You are encouraged to spend a little time visiting your representatives and their local staff. Share the good work you are doing, and remember to add the line “and we could do more if we had increased funding” and then elaborate if you need operational funds, capital improvements, or other specific needs.
There will be two educational sessions at the Annual Conference in Pittsburgh that will cover advocacy. Be sure not to miss –
Sunday, October 15, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm – “The other side of the table: Advocacy at the state and local levels” with Rick Mirabito, Lycoming County Commissioner.
Monday, October 16, 9:00 am – 10:15 am – “Elected officials are people too! How PR & Marketing can help your local advocacy and funding.” The panel of speakers represents a wide range of libraries from small to large, rural to urban.