The following information was shared via email with the library community on Thursday, May 18, 2017 by Sam Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates, in his role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.
This evening the Legacy conference committee wrapped up their work on the
omnibus legacy bill. Library Legacy funding is at $2.5 million/year for the
next two years. The Senate position was $2.2 million/year and the House
brought $2.7 & $2.5 million for the next two years, respectively. The House
position largely won out thanks once again to Rep. Mary Murphy’s hard work.
While she wasn’t actually on the conference committee she sat through the
entire hearing tonight to make sure our funding was secure.
Last night the House failed to pass the bonding bill that Chair Dean Urdahl
brought forward. Chair Urdahl has maintained our $2 million for library
construction grants through the process. It’s unclear what kind of process,
if any, they will use to resolve a bonding bill for this session. It’s
possible that they will fail to pass a bonding bill again. Hopefully they
figure it out. Our $2 million for library construction grants has been a
part of every bonding iteration in the House, Senate and Governor’s
proposals for over a year.
Samuel P. Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates