Earlier this week, the Senate officially introduced its version of the state budget bill (HB 49) for Fiscal Year (FY) 18-19. The bill now stands at 4,653 pages of changes. Overall, the Senate’s version makes $650 million in reductions and tries to close a projected revenue shortfall of roughly $1 billion. The Senate’s budget proposal minimizes the reduction of the Public Library Fund (PLF) by temporarily setting the PLF at 1.68% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF).
A summary of the Senate’s budget proposal is available on the OLC website.
The OLC responded to the changes in the bill and testified today on behalf of Ohio’s public libraries in front of the Senate Finance Committee. Michelle Francis, OLC’s Director of Government and Legal Services, thanked the Ohio Senate for considering public libraries and recognizing the essential services we provide. She indicated that minimizing the PLF reduction to 1.68% was a step in the right direction, but more work needs to be done.
“We understand that this is a tight budget and that the Senate has difficult decisions to make. OLC would like to publicly thank you for considering public libraries and the essential services we provide to Ohio’s citizens and taxpayers. Minimizing the PLF reduction to 1.68% of the GRF is a step in the right direction. We hope to continue to work with the Senate to strive to return the PLF to the current rate of 1.7% if possible,” Francis said.
Read full testimony. (PDF)
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider an omnibus amendment with final changes to the bill early next week and then HB 49 will be reported out of committee. OLC will have more information for members on communications with legislators after the omnibus amendment.
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) has indicated that he still expects the full Senate to vote on the bill next Wed., June 21.