Status of Municipal Council Resolutions in Support of Full Funding of the 25% Grant-in-Aid Program by the State

We did it!  One of RILA's big goals for this year was to focus on the reinstatement of full funding of the Grant-in-Aid (GIA) formula for public libraries with the Fiscal Year 2017 State Budget.  By rallying library advocates, RILA pushed hard for this, and the General Assembly passed a budget that was signed by Governor Gina Raimondo that provides an additional $900,000 for the GIA program.   While this was not the full amount needed to allow the program to provide amounts reflecting 25% of the municipal expenditure in each community from two fiscal years previous as required under RIGL 29-6, these additional monies result in the program being funded at 23.65% of local appropriations and expenditures, as opposed to the original proposal of level funding, which would have resulted in 21.17%.

We would like to personally thank Eileen Dyer of Providence Community Libraries and Eileen Socha of the East Providence Public Library for all of their hard work on this issue as co-chairs of the Legislative Action Committee.  They along with committee member Ed Garcia of the Cranston Public Library and Library Board of Rhode Island Chairman Tom Vial, we had a strong team dedicated to coordinating RILA's efforts in providing testimony at State House hearings, an op-ed piece in the Providence Journal that was co-signed by 44 Boards of Library Trustees in 36 communities and an effort to have city and town councils pass resolutions in support of the funding.  This latter effort resulted in resolutions being passed in 23 of Rhode Island's 39 communities.  This can be seen in this map of council resolutions. Thanks must also be given to previous RILA presidents Laura Marlane and Jenifer Bond who also pushed hard for this measure during their leadership.  As Karen Mellor, Chief Library Officer at OLIS, stated in her announcement of the GIA funding increase to the library community, this "is proof once again that when the library community bands together, people listen."

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016 2:00 PM • Greenville Public Library/Westerly Library
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