Your local libraries need you again!
Thank you if you called or emailed your House representative about the library legislative FY2017 budget amendments that I posted about last month. Funding in the amount of $200,000 for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB) was reinstated in the House budget, thanks to you and the many state reps who signed on to the budget amendment filed by Rep. Kate Hogan.
Now the Senate Ways & Means Committee has released its budget, and funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book has been zeroed out again!
Other FY17 library line items have been level-funded, but because costs of library services have increased so much over the past several years, level-funded will not mean level services. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is focusing advocacy efforts on three budget line items, 7000-9101, 7000-9401, and 7000-9506, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book is 7000-9508, so there’s a total of four budget amendments that urgently need your support and the support of your senator!
The Senate budget debate begins tomorrow, so please contact your senator today! (Not sure how to contact your senator? Just plug in your zip code on the Mass. Library Association’s Engage site, and get the contact info for your legislator’s office in the state Senate.)
The three budget amendments for 7000-9101, 7000-9401, and 7000-9506 you can do easily through the Mass. Library Association’s Engage site, which has a prepared email ready to go. Please include an additional request to your senator to support Amendment 274 which will restore funding to line 7000-9508 Massachusetts Center for the Book, or send a separate email.
7000-9508 – Massachusetts Center for the Book – Reinstatement & $200,000 request filed by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D Leominster) and Sen. William Brownsberger (D Belmont). (Amendment #274) Ms. Flanagan and Mr. Brownsberger moved that the proposed new text be amended in Section 2, by inserting after item 7000-9506 the following item:
7000-9508 For the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc., chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress; provided, that the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc. shall continue its work as a public-private partnership ……………………………………..$200,000
If you’d rather phone your senator, and speak to him/her or his/her aide directly, instead of emailing, the amendments that have been filed are as follows:
Sponsor: Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives – Line 7000-9101- Board of Library Commissioners-move to amend the bill in section 2, in line item 7000-9101, by striking out the figures “$1,147,491” and inserting in place thereof the figures “$1,225,000”.
Sponsor: Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives – Line 7000-9506 – Technology and Resource Sharing – move to amend the bill in section 2, in item 7000-9506, by striking out the figures “$2,376,564” and inserting in place thereof the figures “2,729,238”.
Sponsor: Senator Michael Rush – Line 7000-9401 – State Aid to Regional Libraries – move to amend the bill in section 2, in item 7000-9401, by inserting after “provided further, that the board shall provide funds for the continued operation of a single regional library system to serve the different geographic regions of the commonwealth in both eastern and western Massachusetts to serve the residents of those regions”, in line 14 the following: “and provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the single regional library system shall not receive less than $1.3297 for each resident of the commonwealth;” and by striking out , in line 16, the words “40.7 cents per resident “ and inserting in place thereof the words “45 cents for each resident”; and in said item by striking out the figures “$9,883,482” and inserting in place thereof the figures “$10,940,475”
Remember, the Senate budget debate begins tomorrow, so please contact your senator today, if at all possible, but if not, as soon as you can!