Legislative Background

114th Congress

December, 2015

Library funding was a big winner in the Omnibus spending package passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. LSTA and IAL funding each received approximately $2 million in additional funding for FY 16. Much of the spending package was the result of October’s Bipartisan Budget Act agreement. http://www.districtdispatch.org/2015/12/spending-bill-a-win-for-library-funding-loss-on-cybersecurity/

October, 2015

A two-year bipartisan budget agreement was crafted by outgoing speaker John Boenher (R-OH) that provided temporary continuing funding for the federal government averting a government shutdown. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 provided additional funding for defense and non-domestic discretionary programs and also suspended the debt limit. http://www.districtdispatch.org/2015/10/congress-passes-two-year-budget-raises-debt-ceiling/

June, 2015
House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies passed FY 2016 funding packages with deep cuts to many educational programs. Libraries again fared well in the face of cuts elsewhere. The House bill, H.R.3020, provided level funding for LSTA although no funding for IAL. The Senate bill, S.1695, provided level funding for LSTA and IAL.

May, 2015
A strong showing for LSTA and IAL in this year’s “Dear Appropriator” letters demonstrates the wide support for library priorities in Congress. http://www.districtdispatch.org/2015/05/thank-you-to-members-of-congress-to-who-signed-lsta-ial-letters/

January, 2015
President Obama began the Appropriations “season” by submitting to Congress his budget request for all federal agencies. LSTA would receive a slight increase in funding, however the President did not request any funding for IAL. http://www.districtdispatch.org/2015/02/president-obamas-budget-increases-library-funding/

113th Congress

December, 2014
The 113th Congress concluded its appropriations work a few days before leaving for the Christmas holiday. Although FY2015 began on October 1, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open while Congress and the White House negotiated a final package. Library priorities fared well in receiving level funding for LSTA and IAL – a victory against cuts faced by many federal programs. http://www.districtdispatch.org/2014/12/cromnibus-christmas-chromibus-chanukkah/

June 10, 2014
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) marked-up a FY 2015 spending bill Tuesday, June 10.

This spending bill includes several important programs for American’s libraries, including LSTA and IAL. In this bill, LSTA has been funded at $180.9 million, the same level as in FY 2014. IAL was also level funded within the bill’s report language, funding this program at $25 million for FY 2015. A minimum of half of the money appropriated to IAL must go to a competitive grant for low-income school libraries.

A full committee mark-up has not been schedule. No action has been taken in the U.S. House on the LHHS Appropriations bill.

April, 2014
Dozens of representatives and senators sent two letters urging support for funding the LSTA to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees [House letter (pdf); Senate letter (pdf)] and the IAL [House letter (pdf); Senate letter (pdf)]. In the Senate the LSTA letter received 35 signatures and IAL letter received 29 signatures. In the House the LSTA letter received 62 signatures and the IAL letter received 127.

View (pdf) our list of signees to see if your Senator or Representative signed these letters.

March 4, 2014
President Obama sent his FY 2015 budget request to Congress. In that proposed budget the President ask for a $2 million cut for LSTA funding the program at $180.9 million.  This big hit came to the state program, with slight increases to the set asides for the Native Americans and Hawaiians and the National Leadership grants.

President Obama did not make a request for IAL.

View our funding chart (pdf) for further federal programs that impact libraries.

January 17, 2014
President Obama approved a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government for FY 2014 (until September 30, 2014). This legislation partially restores funding to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) that were dramatically cut in FY 2013 under sequestration.

The total amount appropriated for LSTA increased from $175,044,000 in FY 2013, to $180,909,000 for FY 2014. The grants to states programs increased from $150 million to $154,848,000; National Leadership grants increased from $11,377,000 to $12,200,000; Laura Bush 21st-century Librarian grants remained at $10 million and the Native American and Hawaiian Library Services increased from $3,667,000 to $3,861,000.

In the Department of Education, Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a completive grant which half of the funds must go to low income school libraries, was appropriated at $25 million in FY 2014. This is a -$2.4 million cut from FY 2013.