Representative McGirl on House Not Funding Public Libraries

(Jefferson City) A record state budget passed last week by the Missouri House of Representatives has one glaring omission.

4.5 million dollars to aid public libraries was taken out of the budget entirely by House republicans.

This is in retaliation over a lawsuit put forth by the Missouri Library Association and the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

They question the constitutionality of a new law that bans certain materials from school libraries.

Here’s republican State Representative Mike McGirl of Potosi and his take on defunding Missouri’s public libraries.

Lawsuits like the one filed by the two library groups are common practice if a particular state agency feels like a new law related to them is not constitutional.

This could actually lead to another lawsuit to be filed by the library groups because in a statement from social media, the Missouri Library Association says this funding cut is unconstitutional, pointing to a provision in the state constitution that requires lawmakers to support public libraries.

They go on to say “this tactic, meant to bully the Missouri Library Association into submission, instead directly harms public libraries who rely on those funds, especially the smaller, more rural libraries.

Local libraries that would be affected if the Senate and governor goes along with these cuts are the Bollinger, Crawford, Jefferson, Reynolds and Washington county libraries. Plus, the Ozark Regional Library in Annapolis, Ironton, Viburnum and Fredericktown, along with the Bonne Terre, Crystal City, Desoto, Desloge, Farmington, Festus, Park Hills, Piedmont and the Salem public libraries.