The following information was sent via e-mail on April 29, 2013 from Elaine Keefe, MLA/MEMO Lobbyist. Additional linked information added.
The Legislature must adjourn three weeks from today (April 29, 2013). Most of the omnibus budget bills were passed on the floor of the House and Senate last week (week of April 22, 2013). Conference committees are in the process of being appointed and will begin meeting later this week. Here is the status of the major bills affecting libraries:
The bill has passed both the House and the Senate.
The Senate higher education bill includes a $300,000 per year increase in funding for Minitex/MnLINK. The House maintains current funding.
Please contact the conferees listed below and ask them to support the Senate funding level for Minitex/MnLINK:
|Legislator||Email Address||Phone Number|
|Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL – Winona)||email@example.com||651-296-8637 or 888-681-8226|
|Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley)||firstname.lastname@example.org||651-296-7026|
|Rep. Paul Rosenthal (DFL – Edina)||email@example.com||651-296-7803|
|Rep. Zach Dorholt (DFL- St. Cloud)||firstname.lastname@example.org||651-296-6612 or 800-920-5884|
|Rep. Bud Nornes (R – Fergus Falls)||email@example.com||651-296-4946 or 800-336-8017|
|Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL – Minnetonka)||firstname.lastname@example.org||651-296-4314|
|Senator Greg Clausen (DFL – Apple Valley)||email@example.com||651-296-4120|
|Senator Kent Eken (DFL – Twin Valley)||firstname.lastname@example.org||651-296-3205|
|Senator Jeremy Miller (R – Winona)||email@example.com||651-296-5649|
|Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL – St. Paul)||firstname.lastname@example.org||651-296-1802|
The bill has passed both the House and Senate. Here are the highlights for MLA and MEMO:
- Both the House and Senate versions of the bill maintain all library appropriations at current levels.
- Both the House and Senate change the terminology in statute from “grant” to “aid” for Regional Library Basic System Support and Multitype funding.
- The Senate includes language clarifying that total operating capital can be used by schools to purchase computer, software and annual licensing fees. I expect the House to accept this language in conference.
- The House increases the general education formula by 2% in FY 14 and 2% in FY 15. The Senate increases the general education formula by 1% in FY 14. The House had more money to spend than the Senate did.
House conferees are:
Senate conferees are:
Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL – Maplewood)
Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL – Minneapolis)
Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL – Plummer)
Senator Alice Johnson (DFL – Spring Lake Park)
Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL – Northfield)
The bill has passed the House and is currently being debated in the Senate. Both bills raise a substantial amount of new revenue via increases in income taxes, sales taxes and and cigarette taxes. The House also raises taxes on alcohol. Both bills include property tax relief.
The House bill increases aid to cities by $80 million and aid to counties by $30 million. The Senate bill increases aid to cities by $80 million and aid to counties by $40 million. These increases will be helpful to public libraries.
The House Legacy bill was scheduled to be taken up on the House floor 10 days ago and then was pulled. Rumor has it that controversy over the outdoor heritage appropriations have made it questionable whether the bill can pass. The Senate has not yet put its bill together.