As reported earlier in
Texline, the Senate Finance Committee approved an increase of $3 million
over the biennium for Loan Star Libraries, $1 million for Systems, and
$285,000 for the Talking Book Program. A total of about $8.8 million for
library resource sharing (including TexShare and K-12 databases new funding
requests) was put in Article XI (not definite funding, but it keeps the
request “on the table”).
The House Appropriations Committee has approved revised General Government
Subcommittee recommendations which include $4.7 million over the biennium for
Loan Star and $2 million over the biennium for Systems. Funding for library
resource sharing (which includes all additional requests for funding for
TexShare and the K-12 databases) is still in Article XI on the House side as
The funding for Loan Star Libraries and Systems is very positive news. Barring
changes to the approved amounts, the budget conference committee (which will
have to reconcile the differences between House and Senate versions) usually
picks which recommendation to finalize. Since both chambers are allocating
funding for Loan Star Libraries and the Systems program, it is likely that the
final bill will include funding for these two programs.
Library supporters are still making the case to funding for library resource
sharing (which includes requests for the K-12 databases and TexShare) at this
stage. Library supporters must continue to advocate for funding for library
resource sharing initiatives in addition to the other library programs. It is
especially important that library supporters contact legislators about
resource sharing in the coming weeks.
For information on contacting members of the budget committees and your
elected officials, see Texline 141 and 142.