TLA TEXLINE NO. 242
Posted: March 27, 2009 • LEGISLATIVE ISSUES NETWORK

In this issue: Budget Update


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 well.

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.