Sunday, May 19, 2013

Contact Your State Senator - Time is Short!

Three amendments have been filed to adjust the Massachusetts Senate budget.  Please contact your Senators (Brewer, Candaras, Downing, Knapik, Rosenberg, and Welch) and ask them to sign on to these amendments.  This must be done today or tomorrow (May 19 – 20, 2013.)
This is important because if the Senate amendments are adopted and the amounts are different from the House budget, the discussion moves to the Budget Conference Committee.  If the amendments are not adopted and the budgets in both houses are the same, the discussion is over for the year (unless the Governor vetoes a line item.) 
*Amendment 151   Library Technology and Automated Resources  (7000-9506) filed by Ms. Clark & Ms. Chandler.
This Amendment raises the budget line by $200,000 and matches the House amount.  If the Senate and House amounts match, the line goes through at the higher amount.  Among other things, like automated networks funded in this line, are the Small Libraries in Networks grants so important to small libraries in western Massachusetts.
*Amendment 103   Library of the Commonwealth (7000-9401) filed by Mr. Petruccelli.
Budget Line 7000-9401 funds both the Library of the Commonwealth (Boston Public) and the MLS.  This amendment raises the per capita amount for Boston.  It also raises the total figure for the line item.  If the per capita is raised without the increase to the line, any increase for Boston would reduce the MLS budget.
*Amendment 153  Aid to Public Libraries  (7000-9501) filed by Mr. Eldridge.  
This amendment increases the amount available in the State Aid to Libraries program by $1,000,000.  This would provide the first increase in State Aid since 2010.  This increase is one of the MBLC's priorities for this year.  Every public library meeting basic requirements would benefit from this increase.  This amendment is still more than $2,000,000 lower than what libraries shared in FY2009.
If our libraries want to have any impact on these budget figures, we need to ask our Senators to sign onto the amendments and work for their approval.  The discussion will be over by the end of the week.  It's time for phone calls and email! 

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