Posts Tagged 'Capital Budget'

Public Library Capital Grant funding receives cut, but maintains mandate

In Conference Committee, the House version of the Public Library Capital Grant prevailed.  This means that the funded amount for FY 2012 will be reduced from $5 million to $4 million—a 20% reduction that is in line with the 20% reduction to the entire Capital budget.  However, what was more important is that the mandate to include $5 million for this grant in the budget each year was retained.  The mandate was retained largely due to the advocacy efforts of the public library administrators, who demonstrated to legislators the importance of this state funding to leverage local funding and complete library projects.

House approves cut to Public Library Capital Grant funding

The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a 20% cut to the Public Library Capital Grant funding from $5 million to $4 million.  This is in line with the 20% cut to the general Capital Budget.

Conference Committee finalizes Library funding; Collective Bargaining bill makes no progress

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.

Public Library funding to be determined in Conference Committee

The budget will probably be hammered out by the House by the end of the week and the Conference Committees for both the operating and capital budgets will meet over the weekend to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions.   Public libraries will be featured in both committees, since in both cases the Senate and the House versions of the budgets have differences.

For the Operating budget, the Senate accepted a recommendation by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) not only to freeze libraries again in FY 2011 at the present per capita, but also add the wording “and there after” which means public libraries would never get another per capita increase without changing the law.  The House did not accept the recommendation; therefore, there is a chance to get that removed in Conference Committee.

For the Capital budget, the Senate again accepted a recommendation from DLS to put a cap of $800,000 on the library capital grant program.  What later came to light is that since this cap would be per project, which would effectively reduce the $5 million annual grant since many library systems apply for multi-year funding for the same project.  Again, the House Appropriations Committee did not accept the DLS recommendations and that means another chance to remove this in Conference Committee.  Both committees rejected another recommendation that would basically eliminate the grant all together. 

There was no warning that these recommendations would be made and the recommendations were not known until after the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee had voted.  There is hope that public libraries will fare well in Conference Committee.

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