Posts Tagged 'Public Libraries'

Libraries receive flat funding from state for FY 2012

The Maryland General Assembly approved no change to the per capita funding for libraries as part of the Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act (BRFA).  This translates into another year of flat funding for Public Libraries, Regional Libraries and the State Library Resource Center (SLRC).  Because the per capita funding is based on population and real property wealth, individual library systems may notice a slight change in their funding amount, but it will otherwise remain the same.

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.

BRFA includes flat budget for libraries through 2016

The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) includes any changes in the law requested by the Governor that would be necessary to implement proposed budget items.  These changes must be approved, rejected or amended by the General Assembly.

Since the Governor’s proposed budget for FY 2012 includes a change in the law regarding the scheduled per capita increase for libraries, this is included in the BRFA.  Pages 14 and 15 of the BRFA show the public libraries, State Library Resource Center (SLRC) and Regional libraries flat-lined through the year 2016, then receiving incremental increases until reaching $15 per capita in 2019.

Governor releases FY 12 state budget – Public libraries flat funded; Some changes to pension

On Friday, January 21st, Governor O’Malley released the Maryland state budget proposal.  Two areas are of most interest to libraries:

Library Funding

It appears that public libraries, the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) and the Regional libraries have all been flat funded, with only the formula causing a small change.

Pensions

The Governor is proposing retaining the existing defined benefits system.  However, the proposal includes a one-time choice for current employees to a) continue to contribute 5% with a 1.5% benefit multiplier (reduced from 1.8%) or b) increase their contribution to 7% and continue to earn benefits with a 1.8% multiplier.  New employees will automatically contribute 7% and receive a 1.5% benefit multiplier.  More information about the pension system and other benefits is available on the Governor’s web site. 

Budget Announcement

To view the proposed budget, Powerpoint presentations, budget highlights, video of the announcement and more, visit the budget announcement on the Governor’s web site.  The budget proposal has now been turned over to the General Assembly.

FCC approves changes to E-rate to provide fast, affordable Internet access to schools & libraries

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved changes to the E-rate program.  The changes will provide fast and affordable Internet access to schools and libraries, as well as simplify the application process.  Recommendations from the National Broadband Plan are also included in the changes.  For more information, please see the FCC press release.

Per Capita Funding to Public Libraries at Risk of Being Permanently Frozen

The per capita formula funding level is now at risk of being frozen at the FY 2010 levels for FY 2011 and beyond.
The Governor’s FY 2011 budget proposal includes another deferral of the scheduled increase in the per capita formula funding level for the public libraries and regional libraries and the State Library Resource Center (SLRC).  More alarming is that recently the Department of Legislative Services recommended that the per capita formula funding level be frozen at the FY 2010 level for FY 2011 and every year thereafter.
Take Action!
It is critical that we contact state legislators and urge them to stop the permanent freeze of the per capita formula funding for public libraries.  In particular, members of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee, who are meeting soon, should be contacted.  For additional information and a simple means to contact legislators, go to Capwiz and click on the Action Alert entitled “Maryland: Per Capita Funding to Public Libraries at Risk of Being Permanently Frozen.”

O’Malley releases FY 11 budget for Maryland

Governor O’Malley released the details of the FY 11 budget today.  The budget closes the $2 billion deficit.  While the budget appears to be cutting an additional $330 million in local support, apparently it is not coming out of libraries.  Most of the changes in funding to libraries seem to be based on normal population increases and decreases and the wealth/population formula.  Some of the highlights regarding libraries are:

  •  State teachers’ and librarians’ pensions are fully funded.
  • The County Public Libraries received a slight reduction of $187,070.  The FY 11 proposed state appropriation is $33,032,330; the FY 10 appropriation was $33,219,400.
  • The State Library Resource Center (SLRC) received a small gain of $25,473, however, this does not begin to restore the significant reduction received in FY 10.  The FY 11 proposed appropriation is $9,408.107; the FY 10 appropriation was $9,382,634.
  • The Regional Libraries received a small gain of $23,733.  The FY 11 proposed appropriation is $6,185,646; the FY 10 appropriation was $6,161,913.

 The press release from the Governor’s office includes some additional highlights.  This page also provides links to a PowerPoint presentation, the Budget in Brief and Budget Highlights.

 The Budget Bill is SB 140 and the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2010 (BRFA) is SB 141.  These bills should be available for viewing on the Maryland General Assembly’s web site on January 21st.



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