This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2009 Omnibus spending bill by a vote of 245-178. This $410 billion includes the nine FY 2009 appropriations bill Congress did not complete last year. Libraries fared well in the bill.
The bill contains $171,500,000 for the Grants to State Library Agencies program within the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) — a great victory for libraries! This funding level is an increase of over $10 million from last year and also allows for full implementation of a 2003 law to provide a more equitable distribution of state formula grants.
Library advocates still have work to do to ensure libraries receive this funding. The Senate is expected to consider the bill next week, and Senate Republicans are calling for reductions to the bill.
Please contact your Senators to urge for passage of this important funding bill without any reductions to the bill passed by the House.
Melanie Anderson, Associate Director
ALA Office of Government Relations