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Release: House Education Finance Committee Discusses Rep. Rehm’s Legislation to Invest in Minnesota’s Regional Library System

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House Education Finance Committee discussed bipartisan legislation carried by Rep. Lucy Rehm (DFL-Chanhassen) to increase investments in Minnesota’s regional public library system.

“Public libraries are a vital part of our communities,” said Rep. Rehm. “I’m proud to carry this legislation and build on our strong public library systems because we know how much they mean to Minnesotans; the important services they provide for our seniors, students, child care providers, parents, and the resources they make available and accessible to all learners.”

Minnesota’s public libraries are generally operated by cities or counties and are primarily funded through local property taxes. The 12 regional public library systems are joint powers agreements among cities and counties that cooperate to provide shared and reciprocal library services, broadening access to public library services and resources within each region and statewide. The regional library systems receive state funding through the K12 education budget.

HF 1917 will increase funding for each of the 12 regional public library systems, and a significant increase in funding for systems with lower tax bases. The total increase for the 12 regional systems will be approximately $4 million per year.

The bill is being considered for possible inclusion in a future package of education legislation.