Counties Support Putting Library Program Back On Track

On February 17, 2016, MACo Research Director, Robin Clark Eilenberg, and MACo Education Subcommittee Vice Chair, Commissioner William Valentine of Allegany County testified to the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee in support of SB 337, Libraries – Regional, State, and County – Funding.

This legislation would provide additional funding for county libraries by accelerating increases to the library funding formula. The library program was held back during the recent economic recession. This legislation would allow libraries to reach intended levels of support sooner.

Maryland’s counties share funding responsibility with the State for our libraries and support additional resources for them. County governments directed more than $200 million of their operating budget general funds in fiscal year 2016 to supporting libraries.

From the MACo testimony,

Counties are proud to support libraries because they are an integral facet to a county’s ability to build community, and we would appreciate additional State support to help them further their aims. An acceleration in State funding will help libraries to continue to offer community services that are key to our full economic recovery.

An identical cross-filed bill, HB 144, was heard in the House on February 4.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.