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Fiscal Bureau Issues Library Budget Options for Joint Finance Committee

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, April 29, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Legislative Alert!The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) analyses of library-related budget items has been released for use by the Joint Finance Committee as they continue executive sessions on the 2011-13 state executive budget. Paper #562 gives background and funding options for public library system aids, maintenance of effort funding for public libraries, statewide resource contracts and BadgerLink. WLA supports the following alternatives provided by the LFB:A. Maintenance of Effort: Alternative #3: Delete the provision that would eliminate MOE funding for public libraries. WLA opposes Alternative #1, which is to retain the budget language proposed by Governor Walker. WLA also opposes Alternative #2, which would allow MOE to be suspended for the 2011-13 biennium. WLA had offered a compromise that would have allowed up to a 10% cut to MOE-level funding as a way of protecting libraries from bearing the brunt of local budget cuts. Without some minimum funding protections, communities that don't adequately...

WLA Issues Legislative Alert on Maintenance of Effort Funding for Public Libraries

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, April 06, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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WLA today issued the first of several planned legislative alerts to restore library programs that were cut as part of  the proposed 2011-13 State Executive Budget. First on the docket is support for retaining public library maintenance of effort funding.Under current Wisconsin Statutes 43.15 (4)(c), in order to take advantage of the significant benefits of public library system membership, local libraries must meet several requirements. One membership requirement is 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 - or as WLA has dubbed it, maintenance of membership support (MOMS). (More about MOMS)ACTION TO BE TAKEN:  Please contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative and ask for their support of either of the two MOE options described below. 1st OPTION:  separate billi.    WLA requests that the proposal to...

WLA Warns of Significant Threats to Libraries in Governor Walker’s Budget Proposal

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, March 10, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The Wisconsin Library Association warns of significant threats to library service if Governor Walker’s proposed biennial budget is approved. Major reductions in school aids, shared revenue to municipalities and UW System aids will mean reduced access to information and professional librarians in public, K-12 and higher education libraries. Wisconsinites could experience reduced access to job training and search tools, interlibrary loan, legal and health information, and school library materials and computers.“This budget threatens library service at a time when we should be investing in 21st century information resources for all Wisconsin citizens,” said WLA President Rhonda Puntney.  For instance, 10 percent cuts to BadgerLink, the statewide database of thousands of full text newspapers, journals and other resources, will mean the loss of comprehensive job training and search tools during a time of high unemployment. Shared revenue cuts and the elimination of fair funding rules for membership in library consortia will likely...

Proposed Budget Cuts Shared Revenue, School Aids, UW System, Maintenance of Effort for Public Libraries

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, March 02, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Governor Walker introduced the 2011-13 Executive State Budget (AB 40) in an address to a joint legislative session Tuesday at 4 p.m. He outlined cuts to shared revenue totaling $96 million in fiscal year 2012, and capped local levy increases at the greater of 0 percent or the gain in value due to net new construction, while also extending levy limits for two years.K-12 school aids will be cut $749.4 million over the biennium. Revenue caps will be reduced 5.5 percent below those in place during fiscal year 2010-11.In addition, the UW-Madison and the UW System will share cuts totaling $250 million. The budget also calls for UW-Madison to become an "independent public authority with greater flexibility to manage compensation, human resources, tuition and capital projects." The UW System would also be required to expend $250,000 to develop a plan to convert UW-Milwaukee to a public authority.Budget documents also reveal elimination...