Thursday, May 03, 2007

Joint Finance Funds Library Service Contracts & System Aids

Listening to the audio of Joint Finance Committee on my laptop in the hallway outside the program "What's New Under the Dome" meant that everyone got the news of what's really new. That, plus the fact that Rick Grobschmidt received a cell phone call with breaking news in the middle of his report, made for a very timely presentation.

Bottom line: JFC funded the statewide library service contracts at the levels recommended by Gov. Doyle. They also funded public library systems at the level recommended by Gov. Doyle, but they choose to fund more of the those aids from Universal Service Funds than the governor proposed. What's more, both votes were 16-0.

The discussion on contracts started out with the possibility of cuts, but supportive remarks from Sen. Jauch, Rep. Kestell, Sen. Lehman, Sen. Miller, Sen. Taylor, and Sen. Decker paved the way for a positive outcome.

For those of you who want to understand this better, go to the Legislative Status Report and get the summary and links to more information.

Later this morning JFC will act on the budget proposal that would provide counties with a levy limit exemption for county library reimbursements. WLA has proposed that the budget bill language be amended to make a technical correction and also to expand that exemption. Again, read more on the Status Report.

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