Proposed Changes to RLBSS Under Consideration

A representative group of CRPLSA and MELSA directors investigated alternative factors for the Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) formula that would reduce funding volatility. Mark Ranum, 2013 CRPLSA Chair and Nick Dimassis, 2013 MELSA Chair appointed this Ad Hoc Funding Committee. Gathering in November and continuing to work during the early months of 2014, the Ad Hoc Funding Committee proposed changes to the RLBSS formula that could be introduced in the 2015 Legislative Session. The Committee included:

  • Jim Weikum, Arrowhead Library System
  • Liz Lynch, Lake Agassiz Regional Library
  • Peg Werner, Viking Library System
  • Ken Behringer, Dakota County Library
  • Marlene Moulton Janssen, Anoka County Library
  • Lois Langer Thompson, Hennepin County Library

The proposal requests an additional $1.2 million per year in RLBSS funds; reduces the Equalization Factor from 25% to 17.5% and increases the Basic System Services factor from 5% to 12.5%. These changes are intended to lessen radical funding shifts and add dollars to the Basic System Services. On January 30, 2014, CRPLSA voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.

At that time, CRPLSA also proposed an alternate formula if the 2015 Legislature should prove amenable to a larger funding request. If the additional RLBSS funding exceeds $2 million per year, both the Equalization and the Basic System Services factors would be calculated equally at 15%.

Using the 2014 State Demographer’s population estimates and adjusted net tax capacity (ANTC), as supplied by State Library Services, members of the Ad Hoc Committee created charts demonstrating these numerical shifts. During the spring and summer of 2014, each of the 12 regional library boards will review this data with a goal of statewide endorsement. These same charts will also be presented at the Library Legislative Forum in July in preparation for the 2015 session.

Since the population and equalization factors change annually, the financial charts will be re-calculated in August 2014 to advocate with the 2015 Legislature. If the RLBSS formula change and funding increase legislative initiative is successful, the State Library will re-calculate the formula in August 2015 for the FY2016 RLBSS funding year. Note – Great care will be taken to hold all 12 systems harmless with a new formula however, the final distribution will be calculated after the bill is passed and cannot be completely guaranteed.