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Congress Passes FY 2012 Budget

President Obama is expected to sign into law a $915 billion budget bill for FY 2012 sometime today.  This massive budget bill, that was passed by the House with a 296-121 vote on Friday and cleared the Senate on Saturday with a 67-32 vote, will be the year-long spending for the Military Construction-VA, Defense, Energy-Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch and State-Foreign Operations.  A FY ’12 budget bill had previously been passed for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation last month.  This most recently passed FY’12 budget bill contains many library programs including money for school libraries, Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), and the Government Printing Office (GPO).

After Congress zeroed out funding to Improving Literacy Through School Libraries for FY 2011, both the Senate and House recognized in FY ’12 that they cut the primary source of federal funding to school libraries.  In the new federal budget, congress appropriated $28.6 million for literacy.  A minimum of half, or $14.3 million must go to low income school libraries while the rest of the money will go to national not-for-profits that work for childhood literacy.

This budget appropriates money for the Institutes of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which includes $185 million for LSTA funding.  This is a 2.3 percent cut from the FY ’11 amount of $189 million.  Under LSTA; Grants to States was appropriated at $156.6 million, Native American Library Services was funded at $3.8 million, National Leadership for Libraries was funded at $11.9 million, and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian was received $12.5 million in FY ‘12.

Other library programs that received money in FY ’12 was GPO which was appropriated at $126.2 million; the Congressional Printing and Binding appropriated at $90.7 million; and Superintendent of Documents funded this year at $35 million.

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Jessica McGilvray

Jessica McGilvray is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

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