Library Funding Bill Advances

The Maryland Senate has passed a bill to accelerate increases in the State library funding formula, a formula that was held back during the recession. SB 337 Libraries – Regional, State, and County – Funding would allow the library funding to reach its intended point by 2022, three years earlier than planned under current law.

The Senate passed the legislation 40-7. On the floor of the Senate, Senator Mac Middleton recalled the history of the libraries accepting cuts to their funding formulas during the recession, stating,

This [bill] is a commitment for a promise when made to [the libraries] that when times got better, we would restore them.

Senator Middleton is chair of the Senate Finance Committee and represents Charles County.

MACo supports the legislation. As described in MACo’s 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.

The legislation now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee.

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