On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee completed its work on the state budget bill, House Bill (HB) 49. The committee accepted an omnibus amendment and made its final changes to the legislation. A comparison document of the Governor’s version and subsequent versions of the budget bill is available from the Legislative Services Commission.
The current version of the bill minimizes the originally proposed reduction to the Public Library Fund (PLF) by temporarily setting the PLF at 1.68% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) for Fiscal Years 18 and 19.
This is an extremely tight budget where state agencies, organizations, schools and other local governments are receiving cuts in funding. The General Assembly is anticipating a revenue gap of over $1 billion for the biennium. The Senate cut $1.055 billion in spending from the original bill to make up for this projected shortfall.
This is the final stretch of the budget process. Senators are expected to pass the budget Wednesday. A Conference Committee has been named and is scheduled to meet on Thurs., June 22 to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
A significant amount of work will take place in the next few days and there is still a possibility that the PLF could be reduced back to 1.66% of the GRF.
FINAL CONTACTS NEED
It is crucial that the House and Senate Leadership and Conference Committee members hear from public libraries over the next six days. Encourage these legislators to retain the current bill language that sets the PLF at 1.68% of the GRF. Due to the short time frame, contacts need to be made by email or phone. Urge lawmakers not to make any additional cuts and keep the current bill language.
Talking Points (PDF)