Governor Dayton’s Fiscal Year Budget Recommendations, and What It Means For You

The local library is among a community’s most accessible, visible and, above all, versatile public resources. A glance is all it takes to recognize that the institution means different things to different people: It’s a quiet place to study, an invaluable after-school children’s education resource, and a place to gather with friends to discuss the newest thriller or memoir.

This being the case, perhaps it isn’t surprising that your library relies on a support structure that also has many moving pieces. One, of course, is the financial assistance of its Friends of the Library support organization, but this is only a start. For the rest, the importance of public funding cannot be overstated.

The state of Minnesota provides funding to counties (County Program Aid, CPA) and cities (Local Government Aid, LGA) in each budget cycle. These figures, in turn, do much to dictate what means Minnesota’s library systems and branches will have at their disposal until the next budget cycle rolls around.

While the budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 is still very much a work in progress, Governor Dayton recently released a series of apportionment recommendations that bode well for libraries. This comes after several consecutive years in which CPA and LGA funding has been cut, with predictably adverse effects for many libraries. 

Though nothing is set in stone, Mark Ranum, Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Legislative Committee Chair and Director of the Plum Creek Library System, highly recommends perusing those portions of the Governor’s recommendations that pertain to your county and municipality.

“You can use this information as you discuss library support with city and county officials, making sure they are aware that the library community supports both these programs,” Ranum said. It is also an excellent primer for 2013 MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day, which will be held Wednesday, March 6 at the Capitol in St. Paul.

You can view the documents by clicking here. Tables of projected amounts are broken down by county and by city.