The Ohio Library Council sent out an email update on the budget situation just before noon today. Here's what it says:
- OLC staff has been in daily communication - sometimes twice a day - with the public library directors across the state regarding the state budget and public library funding. However, it's been several days since we have communicated directly with the general membership and library trustees.
Here's what we know:
· Legislators have been listening to their constituents and are working very hard to minimize any funding cuts to public libraries.
· Public libraries MAY experience some funding cut but every indication is that it will not be near the 30% cut proposed by the Governor.
· The General Assembly approved an interim budget through July 7, and public library funding continues at 2.22% of the state's general tax revenue and with no cuts at this time.
· The House already has introduced a resolution to allow for a second budget extension through July 14, if it appears the 2010-11 budget cannot be approved by July 7.
Here's what we don't know:
· How much of a cut, if any, public libraries will experience in the biennium budget.
· When the biennium budget will be approved.
· If there are issues besides slot machines that are still unresolved.
While things may appear to be relatively calm right now, a lot of activity is going on behind the scenes. This is a normal part of the budget process. The OLC's work continues -- just in a less public arena. OLC staff and our contacts in the legislature and the Governor's office are in constant communication. All parties have been receptive to our message and the discussions have been productive.
It's important for you to know that we have told library directors that they should work with their staffs and boards to determine the impact additional funding cuts will have on library services and operations. You may receive requests from your managers or directors to supply information to help with this process. This is not being done to cause panic but to show preparedness. Your administration will need your understanding and support as this is a difficult process for everyone.
We will continue to keep you as informed. Please watch your e-mail and the OLC Web site for updates. Thank you again for your continued support.
Ohio Library Council