House Budget Maintains PLF at 1.68% of GRF; Focus Shifts to Senate
Last week, the Ohio House passed HB 166, its version of the state’s $69 billion two-year budget, with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 85-9 after being reported out of the House Finance Committee unanimously. While the House maintained the PLF at 1.68% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF), a significant number of tax reform changes were included in the proposal — some that could increase revenues as well as others that could potentially reduce the GRF base.
While efforts to increase the PLF percentage were not successful in the House, the focus now shifts to making it happen in the Senate. On Thurs., May 9, the OLC presented budget testimony in the Senate Higher Education Committee. Michael Penrod, Director, Wood County District Public Library, joined Michelle Francis, OLC Director of Government and Legal Services, in presenting testimony. In meetings with Senate leadership and staff following testimony, discussions focused on increasing the PLF to 1.7% of the GRF — which would increase the PLF by about $5 million.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your Ohio Senator over the next two weeks and urge them to:
- make public libraries a priority in the Senate version of the state budget;
- restore the Public Library Fund to 1.7% of the GRF; and
- hold public libraries harmless from any additional unintended reductions in state funding resulting from the tax reform proposals.