Executive Director's Desk - February 9, 2017

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Governor Snyder’s Budget Proposals Holds State Aid to Libraries Steady

Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder announced his proposed state budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. State aid to libraries remains constant at $9.8 million maintaining the $1 million increase from two years ago. Line items for Library of Michigan and MeL mirror last year's budget. The proposed budget cuts Renaissance zones reimbursements to libraries by $2 million from $5 million last year to $3 million for 2018. We are following up on this change. Universities are looking at a $36.6 million increase, which works out to an average of 2.8 percent more as long as the universities hold tuition increases to 3.8 percent or $475 per credit hour. Twenty-five of the state's 28 community colleges will receive $15.7 million of the state's Personal Property Tax overpayment. K-12 funding is also seeing a bump. The $56.3 billion FY 2018 budget is a 2.5 percent increase over 2017.

Two years ago, we saw a $1 million increase in state aid to libraries. Last year we maintained that growth. Our goal for 2018 is to work for an increase. This is one more reason it is so important that you connect with your legislators and that all libraries in the state support MLA's advocacy efforts. MLA worked hard last year and secured outstanding library recognition and support from the legislature with a library exemption from tax capture. Libraries were the only special millage considered for exemption. Our fight for library funding continues as we work to educate the new representatives and call on our many library supporters to help us see that the state budget supports libraries. You can assist by getting to know your elected officials and inviting them to your library.

MLA will present before the education appropriations subcommittee soon and explain to them the important work our libraries do in the community. We will show them how we spend the tax dollars entrusted to us.

All these successes and challenges take time and money. Help us keep our advocacy efforts funded by considering a donation to the MLA Advocacy fund. Please encourage your colleagues to join MLA if they are not members. Every library in the state benefits from MLA advocacy efforts.
 

In addition to advocacy, MLA's focus on professional development programs is bringing high quality speakers and authors to make sure our library professionals are ahead of the trends. Many of our specialty programs such as Academic Libraries and Spring Institute are appealing to broader audiences this year. We have also added webinars to make it convenient to learn no matter your time or location constraints. We encourage you to review this year's speakers and programs and urge your staff to take advantage of opportunities to network and grow professionally by adding these state-wide events to your training calendar. http://www.milibraries.org/prof-development-networking/registration

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