The Maryland General Assembly’s session is over. The budget was finalized in Conference Committee. Here are the preliminary results, along with an update on the Collective Bargaining bill.
- Operating Budget – In Conference Committee, it was decided that both the regional and county/Baltimore City libraries will be frozen in FY 2011 (which starts this July) at the current levels of $6.75 per capita for the regional libraries and $14.00 per capita for county libraries. They have stated that libraries will go up to the FY 2012 level as stated in the law ($7.50 per capital for the regional libraries and $15.00 per capita for the county libraries) and will top out at that rate thereafter. That means that the 4th year per capita increase as originally passed in 2005 will not happen. The law for the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) currently states that they will remain cut at $1.67 per capita for FY 2011, but will go back to $1.85 per capita in FY 2012.
- Capital Budget – The committee agreed to take the House version of the Capital Budget and remove the cap of $800,000 per library capital grant project. This is a major victory.
- Collective Bargaining Bill – This bill did not make it out of committee in either the Senate or the House.