Posts Tagged 'Funding'



FY 2011 federal budget includes IMLS cuts, ILTSL uncertainty

The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office has examined the FY 2011 budget, which is scheduled for a vote on Thursday.  They found two disappointing items: 

  • IMLS cut – The Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) was cut by $28 million, bringing the total funding down to $237.8 million.  It is unknown where within IMLS these cuts will be made.
  • ILTSL – The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program is not listed in the budget bill (HR 1473).  This means that the Department of Education will have 30 days to submit an operating plan or expenditure for school libraries.

No amendments are expected to be introduced before Thursday’s vote and the bill is expected to pass.  At this point, the strategy of the ALA Washington Office will be to focus on maintaining or increasing funding for libraries in the FY 2012 budget.

Thank you to everyone who took action to advocate for library funding in the FY 2011 budget.  Grassroots efforts will be even more important as debate begins on the FY 2012 budget.  Further updates will be posted to this blog.

For additional comments, please see the District Dispatch posting.

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Public libraries exempted from Pension administrative fee

In late March, the Maryland House of Delegates voted within a matter of hours to charge local governments an annual administrative fee of $162.77 for each person enrolled in the State Teachers’ Pension.  This fee would have added an additional $2 million in expenses to public libraries statewide, and no funding was restored in order to offset the expense.

Public library administrators rallied to show the Senate how this significant financial burden would negatively impact public libraries.  Their efforts were successful and the Senate voted to exempt public libraries from this administrative fee.

Fortunately, in Conference Committee the Senate prevailed.  Public libraries will be exempt from this administrative fee.

State Public Library funding approved by Appropriations with no cuts

Late last week, the Maryland House Appropriations Committee voted on the Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act (BRFA).  The vote included flat funding for public libraries, as originally proposed, with no additional cuts.

The Senate Budget and Tax Committee has not yet voted on the BRFA.

Continuing Resolution extends federal budget until March 18th

A Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the president on Wednesday.  The CR keeps the federal government funded for another two weeks until March 18th, avoiding a federal government shut down and allowing more time for Congress to pass a budget for the rest of FY 2011.  The CR does include $4 billion in cuts, but they do not affect funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) or Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

The Senate is still working on their own verso i the CR that was passed by the House to fund the federal government until September 30th, the end of FY 2011.  It is still important to contact Senators and ask them to maintain the 2010 funding for both LSTA and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program.  See the earlier blog posting for information on the Action Alert.

Action Alert! Ask Senate to maintain LSTA and ILTSL funding

Last week, the House passed a Continuing Resolution (HR 1) to fund the rest of FY 2011.  While the Continuing Resolution does include a continuation of funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), it zeroed out funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program.

The Senate is now drafting their own version of the Continuing Resolution.  Please contact Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin and ask them to maintain the 2010 funding for both LSTA and ILTSL.  A list of how LSTA funding is used in Maryland is available.  For additional talking points, and to take advantage of the pre-written letter, check out the Capwiz Action Alert.

If you prefer to call, the phone numbers are:

  • Senator Mikulski – 202-224-4654
  • Senator Cardin – 202-224-4524

The current Continuing Resolution is set to expire on March 4th, so this will likely move quickly.  Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts with the Senate on these important issues!

PATRIOT Act amendment fails, sunset extended

On Friday, the House defeated Conyers Amendment #524 to HR 1, the Continuing Resolution for the FY2011 Budget.  It would have made improvements to reader privacy in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Additionally, both the House and Senate passed a bill to extend the sunset of three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire soon.  These provisions, one of which is Section 215, will now expire at the end of May 2011.  The president is expected to sign the bill.  This will allow another three months of debate over improvements, such as those in Amendment #524.

For a few more details, see the District Dispatch posting.

Action Alert! URGENT: Action needed on IMLS funding & FISA orders for libraries

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2/17/2011 UPDATE – Amendment #35 (IMLS & LSTA budget cut) defeated!  View the update.

2/18/2011 UPDATE – Conyers Amendment (#524, PATRIOT Act revision to halt funding to FISA orders for library and bookstore records) was also defeated.  View the update.

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Congress is now working on a Continuing Resolution for the FY2011 budget.  The current Continuing Resolution for the FY2011 budget is set to expire on March 4th.  There are two amendments that impact libraries that require action: 

  1. IMLS & LSTA funding – Amendment #35 would eliminate all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding.  Please contact your representative in the House and ask him/her to OPPOSE Amendment #35.  What does a total loss of LSTA funding mean for Maryland?  The staff at the Division of Library Development and Services (DLDS) will be cut in half.  There will be no grant money for the Summer Reading Club and AskUsNow.  You can view a complete list of what Maryland will lose.
  2. 

  3. Funding for FISA orders seeking library and bookstore records – Conyers’ amendment would halt all funding for these Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders.  Please contact your representative in the House and ask him/her to SUPPORT this amendment.

Please contact your representative regarding these two amendments.  A Capwiz Action Alert is available, including more details and talking points.  It also includes a pre-written letter that you may edit to personalize the message.  Feel free to use the complete list to show the impact a total loss of LSTA funding would have on Maryland’s libraries.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide!


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