Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Budget Snapshot for Libraries
On February 8, Governor Doyle proposed his biennial budget; for a summary of this and other legislative issues affecting libraries, view the WLA's Legislative & Budget Status Report. The governor:
  • increased public library systems aids by about $2 million
  • provided $136,000 more for BadgerLink to cover the cost to continue
  • flat-funded state service contracts (with WiLS, Milwaukee Public Library, Regional Library for the Blind and the Physically Handicapped, and CCBC), providing a victory on one hand, because contracts were not subjected to DPI agency operations cuts as they had been in the past, a decision WLA had lobbied for with DPI and Governor Doyle. Unfortunately, the total amount budgeted for contracts was held at base, and DPI will need to decide how to allocate the funds amongst the four agencies.
  • did not approve the UW System’s request for $6 million to fund “One System, One Library”. According to one source, cuts to UW administration will likely mean cuts to libraries, as "administration" has been defined as everything not directly related to classroom instruction.
  • cut DPI’s agency budget by 5 percent, rather than the 10 percent applied to other agencies. Apparently, Gov. Doyle felt that DPI had already suffered its fair share of cuts under previous administrations when other agencies’ budgets were increased.

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