The Senate Legacy Bill (SF 1051), authored by Senator Richard Cohen (D-St. Paul), was unveiled in the Senate Subcommittee on Legacy on Thursday, May 9, 2013, and included funding for $1 million/year for regional public libraries. This amount is a major reduction from the $3 million/year currently allocated to regional public libraries. In the House companion bill, HF 1183, the House maintained the $3 million/year allocation to regional public libraries. A conference committee will be named later this week to work out differences with the House and Senate versions of the bill.
For SELCO, this reduction would mean that rather than receiving ~$300,000/year in Library Legacy Funding, we would receive closer to ~$100,000/year in Library Legacy Funding. A nearly 2/3 reduction will have a MAJOR impact on what projects and services we would be able to provide our member libraries.
Action needed: Please contact your own senator to express concern about this reduction and how important Legacy funding for libraries is to your library. Ask them to raise the issue with Senator Cohen.
According to Elaine Keefe, MLA/MEMO Lobbyist
We are not going to change Senator Cohen’s mind. However, if it’s clear that his Senate colleagues are unhappy about the level of funding for libraries it will be more likely that the Senate conferees will agree to the House appropriation when the bill gets to conference committee.
If you do receive a response from your Senator, please feel free to let Michael Scott know about it. Send him email to firstname.lastname@example.org.