Governor Baker Releases Budget Proposal


January 24, 2018
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

Today Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker released his $40.9 billion FY2019 budget, proposing a 2.6% increase in state spending. Three of the seven budget line items overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) received a 1% increase, one received an increase slightly less than 1% and the rest were level funded, for a total budget increase of $170,094 or .66%. The detailed budget chart can be seen on the MBLC website.

Funding to support education received a 2.5% increase and funding to the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges was increased by 1%.

In its FY2019 legislative agenda, the MBLC requested a significant increase in the MBLC’s administrative line, 7000-9101. This line received an increase of  1% or $10,773. Funding to support this line is 12% lower than 2001 and the MBLC has lost staff positions and struggles to carry out the agency’s statutory mandate to improve library services for all residents of the Commonwealth.

The Board also requested a significant increase in the Technology and Resource Sharing line, 7000-9506, which is 52% lower than it was in 2001. This line received an increase of  .88% or $18,598. This funding supports the nine Automated Library Networks. Lack of funding to this account passes costs of library networking back to cities and towns and denies residents access to essential electronic research materials to support education and economic development.

The Board also requested 3% increases in all other budget lines. State Aid to Regional Libraries (the Massachusetts Library System and Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library), 7000-9401, received a 1% increase. Per capita funding for Library for the Commonwealth was set at a  minimum of 40.7 cents. State Aid to Public Libraries, 7000-9501 also received a 1% increase.

The Talking Book Libraries, 7000-9402 (Perkins) and 7000-9406 (Worcester) and the Massachusetts Center for the Book, 7000-9508 were level funded.

The House Committee on Ways and Means will now develop their own budget to be debated by House members in April. Following passage of the House version of the budget, the Senate will vote on their version in May. A conference committee will reconcile any differences between the two versions, and the FY2019 budget will be sent to the Governor to be put into place by July 1, 2018.


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.