**This update was written by Elaine Keefe, MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Lobbyist**
House Omnibus Education Bill: The House omnibus education bill was posted online this afternoon. It maintains current funding for all library appropriations — Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS), Regional Library Telecommunication Aid (RLTA), Multi-type funding, the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) and Telecommunication Equity Aid (TEA). The bill also increases the general education formula from the current $5,224 per pupil to $5,328 in FY 2014 and $5,433 in FY 2015. It also repays the education funding shift to the 90/10 payment schedule.
Senate Omnibus Education Bill: The Senate bill will be released Thursday morning.
Senate Higher Education Funding Bill: Great news! The Senate higher education bill increases funding for Minitex and MnLINK by $300,000 per year. Please send thanks to our chief author, Senator Kent Eken firstname.lastname@example.org and the committee chair, Senator Terri Bonoff email@example.com
House Higher Education Funding Bill: As expected, the House higher education bill maintains current funding for Minitex and MnLINK. Once the higher ed bill gets to conference committee, we will need to press the conferees to go with the higher funding level in the Senate bill.
Bonding: We had not planned to pursue funding for Library Accessibility and Improvement Grants this year, but were encouraged to introduce a bill by House leaders. We did have a bill introduced to provide $3 million, but today the House bonding bill was unveiled and it does not include any funding for libraries. We will pursue it next year.
Legacy: As previously reported, the House Legacy bill includes $3 million per year for regional public libraries and $300,00 per year for the Minnesota Digital Library. The Senate has just announced the process it will follow. Our Legacy request for regional public libraries will originate in the Senate E-12 Education Division before going to the Senate Legacy Subcommittee.
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