Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Western MLS Location Missing from House Budget: Please Contact Your Legislators Immediately

Dear Western Mass Library Colleagues,

The Massachusetts House Budget does not include the wording that requires a western MA location for the MLS (Massachusetts Library System). The Western MA Library Advocates (WMLA) were notified about the omission and the fact that the Senate appears reluctant to include the wording if the House did not. As members of the MLS and utilizers of the Whately location, you know how important this wording is to our library community. Please contact your legislators and ask them to restore the wording in the House Budget and make certain that the wording is included in the Senate Budget to give us the safeguards we need. Following is the budget wording with the missing element highlighted in yellow.

Here is the line item 7000-9401 language from the Governor’s budget. The missing language in the House Ways & Means budget is in yellow highlight.

7000-9401 Regional Libraries Local Aid
For state aid to regional public libraries; provided, that the board of library commissioners may provide quarterly advances of funds for purposes authorized by clauses (1) and (2) of section 19C of chapter 78 of the General Laws, as it considers proper, to regional public library systems throughout each fiscal year, in compliance with the office of the comptroller's regulations on state grants, 815 CMR 2; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in calculating the fiscal year 2013 distribution of funds appropriated in this item, the board of library commissioners shall employ population figures used to calculate the fiscal year 2012 distribution; 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 and requiring that physical locations be maintained in both eastern and western Massachusetts to serve the residents of those regions; and provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the library of the commonwealth shall receive not less than 35 and 9/10 cents for each resident of the commonwealth.

Colleagues, time is short. Thank you in advance for your help and support.

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