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Maintenance of Effort Bill to Get a Hearing

Posted by on Friday, August 05, 2005 in WLA Blog Archive
Rep. Mark Gottlieb's bill, AB-483, will get a hearing before the Assembly Committee on Urban and Local Affairs next Tuesday, August 9, 1:00 p.m. in the North Hearing Room of the State Capitol in Madison. WLA opposes this bill and encourages members who are constituents of the committee members to urge them not to support it. Under Wisconsin Statutes 43.15 (4)(c), local libraries must meet several requirements of system membership, including that the local library be funded at a level that is not lower than the average funding for the previous three years. This requirement is commonly referred to as maintenance of effort (MOE). All local public libraries receive valuable services as a result of their voluntary membership in one of 17 regional public library systems. Elimination of the MOE would damage the valuable resource sharing network established through these systems.

While Rep. Gottlieb has suggested a compromise that would require library performance standards in lieu of MOE, an amendment has not been introduced. While WLA is generally in favor of library standards if they help achieve a higher quality of library service, many of our members are quite concerned about the difficulty of developing meaningful standards statewide. Right now, only four counties have adopted such standards.

Along with WLA, AFSCME and the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) have taken positions against the bill. The Wisconsin Counties Association and the League of Municipalities have stated support for the bill.
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