Legacy Conferees Settle On House Version
Thanks to everyone who has written letters and made calls to legislators discussing Legacy funding for libraries.
Conferees meeting on the Legacy Bill to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions adopted the House position, reports Elaine Keefe, Minnesota Library Association lobbyist. This is good news for Great River Regional Library (GRRL). The mechanism for distribution of allocated funds will be the one specified in the House version. This means that GRRL will not have to engage in extensive grant writing, and will instead have a fixed and predictable budget with which to plan programming.
Here are some excerpts from Keefe’s notification.
The Legacy conference committee wrapped up negotiations earlier this evening. The conferees adopted the House position to continue to have the Department of Education distribute the funds for regional public libraries via the existing RLBSS (Regional Library Basic System Support) formula. They adopted the Senate funding level of $3 million per year. Many thanks to everyone who contacted the conferees. They told me they heard from a great number of library folks on the issue.
The final version of the Legacy bill also includes $250,000 per year for the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL). Both the House and Senate bills provided this funding level for the MDL, so this was expected….
Shortly before the bill was closed up, the conferees adopted an amendment directing that none of the money appropriated in the bill can be spent until a biennial budget is enacted for the agency receiving the funds…. This means that an omnibus education budget bill would have to be signed into law before the Legacy funding for regional public libraries could be spent.