Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Federal Budgets & LSTA Funds in 2017

Logo for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)
Logo for the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)
By this time of the year, the Public Library Development team usually announces grant application awards that have been approved for funding in 2017. However, there are no current plans to send award notifications and letters from the State Superintendent to fund projects. The agency from whom the Division for Libraries and Technology receives Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding is the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This agency and its LSTA funds, through the Grants to States program, are subject to the current Continuing Resolution (CR) affecting all federal agencies and is in effect until April 28, 2017.

To back up a few months, the 2017 federal fiscal year began October 1, 2016. There was an initial CR issued to keep the government running until November 18th. On that date, a 2nd Continuing Resolution was issued to keep the federal government operating until April 28th. That CR will either get resolved with a budget at the end of April, or risk a government shutdown.

When the new President took office, Congress began working on FY 2018 appropriations bills, not FY 2017. President Trump is supposed to issue a budget for programs that he would like to accomplish during the current year. However, the administration has yet to fill many positions on his staff. When the budget is sent to Congress, it is expected that the President’s budget will propose large funding cuts for many domestic programs as suggested in his speech to the Congress.

According the American Library Association (ALA) Legislative office”… there is no indication that the President will suggest abolishing the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the independent agency that administers the bulk of federal library funding under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).“ It will be up to the U.S. Congress to appropriate money for the continuing support of LSTA funds.

The Division will continue to monitor the federal budget legislative issues and alert you as soon as there is news to report impacting the distribution of grants.

Written by:  Terrie Howe
Public Library Development Team