Friday, April 29, 2011

Fiscal Bureau Issues Library Budget Options for Joint Finance Committee

Legislative Alert!

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) analyses of library-related budget items has been released for use by the Joint Finance Committee as they continue executive sessions on the 2011-13 state executive budget. Paper #562 gives background and funding options for public library system aids, maintenance of effort funding for public libraries, statewide resource contracts and BadgerLink. WLA supports the following alternatives provided by the LFB:

A. Maintenance of Effort: Alternative #3: Delete the provision that would eliminate MOE funding for public libraries. 

WLA opposes Alternative #1, which is to retain the budget language proposed by Governor Walker. WLA also opposes Alternative #2, which would allow MOE to be suspended for the 2011-13 biennium. WLA had offered a compromise that would have allowed up to a 10% cut to MOE-level funding as a way of protecting libraries from bearing the brunt of local budget cuts. Without some minimum funding protections, communities that don't adequately fund their libraries strain the resources of neighboring communities that do.

B. Aid to Public Library Systems and Library Service Contracts: Alternatives #2a, 2b, and 2c to provide an additional $4,082,200 SEG to the base for these programs. 

As state funding to library programs is provided through the Universal Service Fund, there is no impact on the general fund. In addition, maintaining this SEG funding also protects about $3 million in federal funding through LSTA that Wisconsin can ill-afford to lose.

Please contact your legislators about this matter!

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