MN Library Legislative Update

CapitolThe following legislative update was written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and MEMO/ITEM. Updates are included here by date in ascending order, (oldest to newest)

Received Friday, May 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Budget Targets:  Yesterday legislative leaders agreed on targets for the supplemental budget bill and the tax bill, so now negotiations on these bills will be getting serious. Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen have set a deadline of Sunday night for the supplemental budget conference committee to finish its work. If you have not yet contacted the conferees to urge them to support the House position to increase funding for telecommunications equity aid (TEA), please do so today.

Omnibus Education Policy Bill (HF 2397):  The conference committee finished the bill last night.  As I reported on Wednesday, the bill includes the library services task force and the provision allowing MDE to make limited exceptions to the requirement that public libraries be open a minimum of 20 hours per week to receive Regional Library Telecommunications Aid.

Here is a link to the conference committee report:

The library provisions are on pages 136-37.


Received Monday, May 5, 2014 at 8:53 am

Library Construction Grants:  This morning the Senate bonding bill was unveiled in the Senate Capital Investment Committee.  It includes $1 million for Library Construction Grants.  The House bill, which was unveiled weeks ago, includes $3 million.

Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill:  The conference committee met over the weekend but did not reach agreement, despite a directive from legislative leaders to finish the bill by Sunday night.


Received Tuesday,  May 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

Library Construction Grants:  This morning the House Ways and Means Committee passed a revised version of the bonding bill. Rep. Hausman was forced to cut $40 million from projects that were funded in the bill that passed out of the House Capital Investment Committee a month ago in order to accommodate an agreement by legislative leaders to fully fund the restoration of the Capitol at $126.3 million. I am happy to report that the new bill still includes $3 million for Library Construction Grants. The new bill does not include earmarks for the libraries in Perham and Jackson County. The bill passed and was sent to the House Rules Committee, its last stop before the floor.

Yesterday I reported that the Senate bonding bill included $1 million for Library Construction Grants.  The bill also includes language identical to that in the House bill clarifying that “Renovation may include remediation of conditions hazardous to health or safety” and changes the name of the program to Library Construction Grants.  Finally, it includes a $50,000 appropriation to the Bagley Public Library for renovation.  The $50,000 is a separate appropriation — it does not earmark funds within the $1 million for Library Construction Grants.

Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill:  Negotiations on the budget bill were dealt a setback yesterday when Governor Dayton sent a letter to Speaker Thissen and Majority Leader Bakk saying that their budget target of $293 million is too high and he will not agree to that level of spending.  Here is a link to the letter

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 310
St. Paul, MN 55103
office 651-293-0229
cell 612-590-1244