On Oct. 7 President Clinton signed Public Law 105-55 (H.R. 2209), the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, which includes the Library's budget for the new fiscal year. Fiscal year 1998 began on Oct. 1.
P.L. 105-55 will provide LC with an FY 1998 budget of $376,719,000, a $14.8 million, or 4.1 percent, increase from LC's FY 1997 budget of $361,896,000. The FY 1998 amount includes the authority to spend $30,295,000 in receipts from the Copyright Office and the Cataloging Distribution Service.
A joint House-Senate conference committee resolved differences in the House and Senate versions of H.R. 2209 on Sept. 17. On Sept. 24 the House and Senate approved the bill for the president's signature.
Earlier this year, Dr. Billington had requested an FY 1998 budget of $387.6 million, or a 7.1 percent net increase, for the Library.
The largest part of the $14.8 million increase was $8 million for mandatory pay raises in FY 1998; however, LC must find the funds from current resources to pay for within-grade increases ($2.3 million) and higher retirement costs ($1.4 million) in FY 1998. These offsets will result in an estimated reduction of 66 full-time equivalent (FTEs) positions.
The conference committee funded $5,584,000 for the proposed Integrated Library System (ILS) (see LC Information Bulletin, Sept. 1997). This amount represented the Library's full request for this new system. LC must still seek approval of its ILS plan by congressional oversight committees before purchasing the new integrated system.
The conference committee generally limited price-level increases to 4 percent and approved $400,000 for contract collections security, subject to the approval of a comprehensive security program by the oversight committees.
Specific appropriation accounts within the budget were approved as follows:
For the salaries and expenses (S&E) of the Library, the conference committee approved $227,016,000, a 5.1 percent increase above the FY 1997 level of $216,007,000.
For the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the conference committee approved $64,603,000, a 3.1 percent increase in funding above CRS's FY 1997 budget of $62,641,000.
For the Copyright Office, the conference committee provided a total of $34,361,000, a 2.9 percent increase above the FY 1997 level of $33,402,000. The amount approved by the conference committee includes $22,426,000 in receipt authority.
For LC's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the conference committee approved a total of $46,561,000, a 3.5 percent increase above the FY 1997 level of $44,964,000. The amount approved includes an increase of $1,250,000 for 5,000 additional talking book machines.
LC's American Folklife Center received a 3 percent increase of $27,700 for an FY 1998 budget of $956,500.
The conference committee provided less funding for LC's furniture and furnishings account than in FY 1997: $4,178,000, a 14.4 percent decrease from the FY 1997 level of $4,882,000.
The conference committee approved two administrative provisions for the Library: one to establish a revolving fund for the cooperative acquisitions program; the other to allow for gift funds to be invested in the same manner as provided for trust funds.
Members of the conference committee were Reps. James T. Walsh (R-N.Y.), C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), R. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.), Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Bob Livingston (R-La.), José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), Vic Fazio (D-Calif.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and David Obey (D-Wisc.); and Sens. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).