House passes libraries appropriation
By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
The House passed a $11.8 million appropriation for the Idaho Commission for Libraries Wednesday afternoon, sidestepping policy debates that have centered on libraries and content over the last year.
The budget includes $40,000 for Kindergarten Readiness program subgrants, $1.7 million for a Digital Access Implementation Grant, and $3.5 million for library facility upgrades. Bill sponsor Rep. Matthew Bundy, R-Mountain Home, said libraries across the state have already expressed interest in taking advantage of funds for facility improvements.
The bill passed 45-20.
Libraries have been at the center of policy debates for the past two legislative sessions. On Monday, the House voted 40-30 for a bill to allow parents to sue libraries if their children check out “obscene” material, as defined by “contemporary community standards.”
On Wednesday morning, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send that bill for potential amendments.
The Commission for Libraries budget now goes to the Senate.