The House Appropriations Committee on May 18 gave the Library a 4 percent increase in its budget for fiscal 1995, or a total of $334 million.
Dr. Billington had requested a total of $388 million, or a 7.9 percent increase, to keep up with anticipated mandatory pay increases and price levels changes and to maintain existing programs at the current level, following a loss of 395 LC positions since 1992.
The House Appropriations Committee essentially adopted the markup of the legislative branch subcommittee, headed by Rep. Vic Fazio (D-Calif).
The committee gave LC's Congressional Research Service $59 million, or a $2.2 million increase, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped a $2 million increase, to $44.6 million; for the Copyright Office $27.2 million, or a $998,000 increase; LC's salaries and expenses, $207.9 million, or a $6.5 million increase.
The House panel's recommendation must now go to the full House for a floor vote as part of the overall legislative branch appropriations bill.
The comparable Senate process will follow and then the House and Senate versions will be reconciled in conference committee, probably in August.
The House panel markup included:
- $1 million and positions for the following efforts: five positions in Collections Services and one position in the American Folklife Center for arrearage reduction; four positions in Constituent Services for the Digital Library; one position in Human Resources to assist in affirmative action.
- Five positions in the Copyright Office for Copyright Arbitration Review Panels;
- A $558,000 increase in authority to spend copyright receipts, primarily to implement the Copyright Royalty Tribunal Act;
- $1.9 million for furnishings for the restoration of the Jefferson and Adams buildings;
- $388,432 for improved fire and safety systems at the Library's storage facility in suburban Maryland.
If the House panel's version of the LC appropriation ends up as the final version, LC officials said, the threat of major LC layoffs would ease if mandatory pay increases are held to 1.6 percent in 1995 as proposed by the Clinton administration.
However, they emphasized, neither the fate of the House panel's recommendation nor the size of the 1995 pay increase is now predictable. LC is still in a virtual hiring freeze with many critical vacancies; only a few exceptions have been allowed.
The House committee recommendation put the overall resources available to the Library at $454.5 million --including $9.9 million allotted to the Architect of the Capitol for maintenance and construction of LC buildings, $25.3 million in receipts from copyright fees and the sale of bibliographic materials, $18.9 million from gift, trust and revolving funds, and $81.4 million in reimbursements for services performed for other government agencies.