Governor Vetoes Center for the Book; Maintains Funding in other Library Lines


July 18, 2017
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Monday, July 17, 2017 Governor Charlie Baker signed a $39.4 billion budget for FY2018 that included $320 million in spending vetoes. Funding to Massachusetts Center for the Book was among those vetoes. The budget is based on revised tax revenue projections for FY2018 that are $749 million less than the baselines used at the beginning of the budget process. Governor Baker listed the reason for the veto to Center for the Book as “this item is no longer recommended in view of revenues currently projected to be available.”

The Massachusetts Center for the Book was in a similar circumstance in FY2017; however the Governor’s veto was overridden by the House and Senate. The Massachusetts Center for the Book is line 7000-9508 in the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ (MBLC) budget. It provides important support for libraries and promotes literacy across the Commonwealth.

The Governor also vetoed a $50,000 earmark in the Worcester Talking Book line (7000-9402) that was not related to providing services to residents with visual impairments. In all other MBLC budget lines the Governor maintained the funding that the Conference Committee released in its budget on July 7, 2017.  “While we are disappointed that funding to the Center for the Book was vetoed, given what we now know about the current budget climate, the fact that overall library funding was maintained and even increased in some lines is very significant,” said James Lonergan, MBLC Director.

Four MBLC budget lines received a 1% increase over FY 2017: line 7000-9401 which funds both the Massachusetts Library System and Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library; 7000-9406 Talking Book and Machine Lending (Perkins); 7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries; and 7000-9506 which funds the Automated Library Networks. The MBLC’s administrative account (7000-9101) and the Talking Book Library in Worcester (after the $50,000 earmark was removed) were both funded to FY2017 levels.

The Massachusetts House and Senate have until July 31 to override vetoes or leave the cuts in place.

A budget chart with the Governor’s vetoes is below

Item No. Item Name FY 2017
FY 2018
Legislative Budget
FY 2018
Governor's Vetoes
FY 2018
Governor's Budget
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,077,431 $1,077,431 $ - $1,077,431
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,883,482 $9,982,317 $ - $9,982,317
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $441,715 $491,715 $(50,000) $441,715
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,487,893 $2,512,772 $ - $2,512,772
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000 $9,090,000 $ - $9,090,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,076,564 $2,097,330 $ - $2,097,330
7000-9508 Center for the Book $200,000 $200,000 $(200,000) $ -
TOTAL: $25,167,085 $25,451,565 $(250,000) $25,201,565

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.