TLA TEXLINE NO. 237
Posted: February 12, 2009 • LEGISLATIVE ISSUES NETWORK


In this issue: Call to Action

  1. State Finance Committee Hearing
  2. Possible 2.5% decrease in the State Library’s 2009 Budget
  3. Legislative Update

State Finance Committee Hearing

The Texas Senate Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 17, and will hear testimony on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) budget as part of deliberations on the General Appropriations Act. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 am in Room E1.036 at the Capitol. The schedule is posted at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/schedules/html/C5402009021708301.HTM. The Committee will hear testimony from agency staff and will then take public testimony.

The State Library’s budget includes several “exceptional items,” which represent requests for money in addition to current budgeted levels for the agency and its programs. Please contact your senator about Texshare, the K-12 Databases, Loan Star Libraries, and the Regional Library Systems.

CALL TO ACTION: Please email or call your senator’s office and ask them to support these library programs in TSLAC’s 2010-2011 Legislative Appropriations Request.

Issues and Talking Points

TexShare – Provides library resource sharing and database services to college students/faculty and public library users. See: http://www.txla.org/html/legis/81/TexShare.doc.
Action Needed: Appropriate $5.25 mil for each year ($10.5 mil over the biennium).

K-12 Databases – Provide quality online resources for Texas students and teachers. See: http://www.txla.org/html/legis/81/TexShare.doc.
Action Needed: Appropriate $4 mil for each year ($8 mil over the biennium).

Loan Star Libraries – A direct aid grant program for public libraries. See: http://www.txla.org/html/legis/81/TexShare.doc.
Action Needed: Appropriate $4.35 mil for each year ($8.7 mil over the biennium).

Texas Library Systems – A network of 10 service centers supporting libraries. See: http://www.txla.org/html/legis/81/TexShare.doc.
Action Needed: Appropriate $2 mil for each year ($4 mil over the biennium).
 

  • Tell them that TexShare (for instance) is critical to your library users and give an example of how the resource is used locally and/or a statement about its need.

  • With the economic recession, libraries of all types are needed more than ever; and so, it is vitally important and needed for the state to support library programs that affect millions of people around the state.

  • Be sure to note that TexShare, the K-12 Databases, Loan Star Libraries, and the Regional Library Systems are programs than have a direct impact on local communities, schools, and institutions of higher education. These programs reach constituents statewide.

Please call or email your own senator (if your senator serves on the Finance Committee) by Tuesday, February 17.

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Senator Kip Averitt; (512)463-0122; kip.averitt@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Robert Deuell; (512)463-0102; bob.deuell@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Robert Duncan; (512)463-0128; robert.duncan@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Kevin Eltife; (512)463-0101; kevin.eltife@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Chris Harris; (512)463-0109; chris.harris@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Juan Hinojosa (Vice-Chair); (512)463-0120; juan.hinojosa@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Eddie Lucio; (512)463-0127; eddie.lucio@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Jane Nelson; (512)463-0112; jane.nelson@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Steve Ogden (Chair); (512)463-0105; steve.ogden@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Kel Seliger; (512)463-0131; kel.seliger@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Florence Shapiro; (512)463-0108; florence.shapiro@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Royce West; (512)463-0123; royce.west@senate.state.tx.us
Senator John Whitmire; (512)463-0115; john.whitmire@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Tommy Williams; (512)463-0104; tommy.williams@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Judith Zaffirini; (512)463-0121;judith.zaffirini@senate.state.tx.us

Possible 2.5% decrease in the State Library’s 2009 Budget

One of the items the Senate Finance Committee may discuss at Tuesday’s hearing is the potential cut of 2.5% of the State Library’s budget for the current (2009) year. The state’s leadership asked all agencies to submit a proposal for a 2.5% decrease of state funds for current operations. The State Library submitted a proposal which would cut about $440,000 from the agency’s budget. Most of the cuts would come in the form of lapsed salaries. About $30,000 would come from lapsed and unclaimed Loan Star Libraries funds and about $35,000 designated for the TexShare communications plan.

The Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees will determine if and how much of that 2.5% reduction they actually want to implement.

 Legislative Update

The roster for State House committees was released today. The following are the chairman of committees which consider library and education issues. (For a full list of House Committee members, go to http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/assignments/81/committee.pdf. For a full list of Senate Committee members, go to http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/Commit.htm. )

House Appropriations
Chair, Jim Pitts
Vice Chair, Richard Peña Raymond

Public Education
Chair, Rob Eissler
Vice Chair, Scott Hochberg

Higher Education
Chair, Dan Branch
Vice Chair, Joaquin Castro

Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
Chair, Mark Homer
Vice Chair, Donna Howard

Senate Finance
Chair, Steve Ogden
Vice Chair, Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa

Senate Education
Chair, Florence Shapiro
Vice Chair, Dan Patrick

Senate Higher Education
Chair, Judith Zaffirini
Vice Chair, Dan Patrick