Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately provide state funding and assistance in the improvement of local libraries, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 78 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 19A, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 19A. The state treasurer shall annually, on or before July first, pay from monies appropriated from the Local Aid Fund for that purpose, to each city or town certified by the board of library commissioners to have met certain minimum standards of free public library service established by said board, an amount to be used for the free public library or libraries of said city or town, to be determined as follows:-
(1) to each town having a population of less than two thousand five hundred, a sum equivalent to the amount appropriated by it for free public library service during the preceding year, but in no event more than one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars;
(2) to each city and to each town having a population of two thousand five hundred or more, a sum not exceeding fifty cents for each resident therein; provided, however, that such city or town appropriates during the preceding year for its free public library service at least one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars;
(3) to each city and town, in addition to the amount specified in paragraph (1) or (2), a sum determined by allocating the remaining available amount among the cities and towns according to the provisions of section eighteen C of chapter fifty-eight.
(4) in addition to the amounts specified in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3), to each city or town whose library is designated a major nonresident lender by said board, an amount for the purpose of offsetting the costs of extending said service to nonresidents. Said amount shall be determined by said board by allocating the sum appropriated for this purpose according to criteria and formulae developed by said board in consultation with the regional public library systems established under section nineteen C.
No city or town shall receive any money under this section in any year when the appropriation of said city or town for free public library services is below an amount equal to the average of its appropriation for free public library service for the three years immediately preceding, increased by two and one-half per cent of said average. Said board may, upon petition of a community, waive aforesaid requirement upon demonstration of fiscal hardship. Said waiver may only be granted by said board in a given fiscal year to not more than ten cities and towns in the commonwealth.
SECTION 2. Section 19B of said chapter 78, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clauses (4), (5), (6) and (7) and inserting in place thereof the following four clauses:-
(4) employ trained library personnel in accordance with regulations promulgated by the board of library commissioners,
(5) expend a reasonable portion of the library's total budget on library materials,
(6) lend books to other libraries in the commonwealth and extend privileges to the holders of cards issued by other public libraries in the commonwealth on a reciprocal basis,
(7) include in their annual report the total number of nonresident loans and nonresident circulation as a percentage of the library's total circulation, as certified by the librarian and subject to an audit by the state auditor.
SECTION 3. Section 19C of said chapter 78, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clause (4) and inserting in place thereof the following two clauses:-
(4) In addition to the sums provided in clause (3), the Boston public library, as the library of last recourse for reference and research services for the commonwealth, shall be entitled to receive in state aid the sum of fifty cents for each resident of the commonwealth;
(5) Any employee employed in a position identified as a regional position in a public library which accepts funds under this section shall not be required to comply with residency requirements. For purposes of this section, "regional position" shall mean a full-time or part-time position for which at least fifty per cent of the funding is provided by the commonwealth pursuant to this section.
SECTION 4. The second paragraph of section 19E of said chapter 78, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clause (6) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-
(6) To aid public library planning, reconstruction and construction. The board shall adopt standards consistent with the provisions of sections nineteen G to nineteen K, inclusive, in allocating funds for these purposes.
SECTION 5. Said chapter 78 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 19F the following five sections:-
Section 19G. The board of library commissioners shall, subject to appropriation, establish and administer a program of state assistance to cities and towns in the planning, reconstruction, construction, design, acquisition of real property, renovation, preservation, rehabilitation, demolition or expansion of a facility to be used as a free public library.
The board may, in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections nineteen H to nineteen K, inclusive, provide grant funds to such cities and towns which apply for funding of projects authorized by this section; provided, however, that said grant shall not exceed seventy-five per cent of the cost of an approved library project, including interest and the cost of planning thereof.
Section 19H. As used in sections nineteen G to nineteen K, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:-
"Addition, expansion or extension", work which will result in an increase in the overall external dimension of a public library facility.
"Alteration", work required to modify or adjust the interior space arrangement or other physical characteristics of an existing public library facility so that it may be more effectively utilized for its present designated functional purpose.
"Approved public library project", an undertaking for the planning, alteration, construction, demolition, reconstruction, renovation, addition, expansion, extension, or rehabilitation of a public library facility as approved by a majority vote of the town at a town meeting or by a majority vote of a city council, with the approval of the mayor, in the case of a city or in a municipality having a town council form of government, by vote of the town council.
"Construction", new construction, alteration, renovation, rehabilitation, or other activity that is intended to result in a significant increase in the internal useable space of a free public library.
"Master plan", a study, description, or design of an approved library project which is intended to ensure that various components of an approved public library project shall be compatible with each other and that the approved public library project as a whole is compatible with its surroundings.
"Planning", the preparation of a master plan, study, analysis, or similar report the purpose of which is to define the cost, content and schedule of an approved library project so as to establish a frame of reference prior to design, acquisition, construction, alteration, renovation, rehabilitation or other activity of an approved public library project.
"Public agency", a department, board, commission, council or other instrumentality of a city or town.
"Public library facility", a building or other structure utilized as a free public library in a city or town.
"Rehabilitation", work required to restore a public library facility to its former historic condition, or to modify and modernize a public library facility in order that it may be effectively utilized for its designated functional purpose.
"Renovation", work required to restore and modernize most of a public library facility in order that the facility may be effectively utilized for its designated functional purpose or to comply with current code requirements.
"Study", a plan, analysis or report to identify and evaluate alternative solutions to and recommendations for a solution to the needs and requirements defined by a public agency proposing an approved public library project.
Section 19I. The board of library commissioners shall establish rules and regulations which shall govern the application for and distribution of said funds. Any such rule and regulation shall require that any city or town receiving a grant for an approved public library project for the planning, construction, renovation, alteration, addition, expansion or demolition of a public library facility make a financial commitment to the project for which the grant is awarded.
An application must be for an approved public library project and shall be in such form as prescribed by said board and shall be accompanied by such additional master plan, information, drawings, plans, estimates of costs and proposals for defraying such costs as the board may require. The board may consult with the division of capital planning and operations under the secretary of administration and finance as to the feasibility and cost of any such application.
Said board may, if it is satisfied that the application so submitted meets the requirements as established by said board and that the expenses to be incurred are reasonable, certify to the comptroller for payment to such city and town such amount as it may deem proper and the state treasurer shall forthwith make payments so certified from any funds appropriated therefor.
Section 19J. In allocating said funds, the board shall give priority to library construction projects within communities (a) in which the most recent fiscal year's tax levy as a per cent of its levy limit exceeds the statewide average, as determined by the commissioner of revenue; (b) that demonstrate strong local annual operating support for public libraries; (c) that have a high degree of demand for public library services; (d) which undertake significant cooperation with other municipalities to improve public library services; (e) which are in strict compliance with the standards established under this chapter; (f) where library projects are needed, in the judgment of the board, to renovate a building which is structurally unsound, lacking handicapped access or otherwise in a condition seriously jeopardizing the safety of the public and where no viable alternatives exist; and (g) where library projects are needed for the replacement, renovation or modernization of the heating system, roof or other project relating to energy efficiency.
Section 19K. Cities and towns may accept grants or gifts for purposes of library construction or renovations, including the planning therefor from private persons or corporations and from charitable foundations and may disburse the same for such purposes. Cities and towns may include any such funds in the determination of the local match in applying for assistance from the commonwealth for a grant for an approved public library project. Any amounts so received by a city or town shall be deposited with the treasurer of such city or town and held as a separate account and may be expended without further appropriation, notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three of chapter forty-four.
SECTION 6. Section 25 of said chapter 78, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
No regulation shall be accepted for filing with the state secretary unless such regulation has been submitted to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives who shall refer such regulations to the appropriate joint committee for its review and comment ninety days prior to the effective date of said regulations. Said committee may submit written comments and suggested changes, if any, to the board at least sixty days prior to said effective date. The board in filing its regulations shall consider the comments and suggested changes and submit revised regulations, or a detailed explanation of why the suggested changes will not be adopted, to such committee at least thirty days prior to the effective date of the regulations.
SECTION 7. The board of library commissioners shall establish a competitive grant program for the purpose of providing funds, subject to appropriation, to implement new projects in public libraries. Such grants shall not be made for the support of ongoing operational project expenses beyond the time determined by said board as necessary to implement a project, which in no case shall exceed two years. The board shall establish minimum requirements to be met by all applicants for grants under this program, which shall include but not be limited to the requirements that said applicants shall not use grant monies to replace local operational monies, shall pay a certain portion of the implementation costs of a project and shall agree to pay the operating costs of a project after its implementation.
Grants awarded under this section are to be awarded for innovative public library projects, including but not limited to the establishment of automated resource sharing clusters, programs of interlibrary cooperation among different types of libraries, the purchase of computer equipment, the hiring of temporary staff to convert a library to a computerized system, the coordination of collection development among libraries in a cluster, acquisition of telecommunications equipment, development of information and referral services, literacy projects, access centers for the handicapped, and informational efforts aimed at stimulating interest in libraries.
SECTION 8. There is hereby appropriated the sum of six hundred thousand dollars, to be paid from the Local Aid Fund, to be distributed by the board of library commissioners equally among those cities and towns which qualify for aid under the provisions of subsection (5) of section seventy of chapter two hundred and six of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-six with a Pline concentration of twenty per centum or greater. Said distribution shall be for the sole purpose of purchasing library materials, with preference to be given to materials which would be directly relevant to population groups included in said section. All funds appropriated and distributed in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be used solely for the purchase of library materials and shall not be used to supplant or supplement any other function or operation of the recipient city or town's library nor shall said funds be used for salaries, maintenance or administrative expenses.
SECTION 9. The board of library commissioners is hereby authorized to expend a sum not exceeding thirty-five million dollars for a program of grants to cities and towns for approved public library projects as authorized by section five of this act. Grants for approved public library projects shall be awarded only for projects on which construction will commence after July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six, except that libraries which house subregional and consortium facilities and which were in the construction-in-progress stage as of July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six shall be eligible for reimbursement under this act for those portions of construction costs directly attributable to the building's function as a subregional library.
SECTION 10. To meet the expenditures necessary in carrying out the provisions of section nine of this act, the state treasurer shall, upon request of the governor, issue and sell bonds of the commonwealth to an amount to be specified by the governor from time to time, but not exceeding, in the aggregate, the sum of thirty-five million dollars. All bonds issued by the commonwealth, as aforesaid, shall be designated on their face, Capital Outlay Loan - Public Library Facilities, Act of 1987 and shall be in accordance with recommendations of the governor submitted pursuant to Section 3 of Article LXII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, be issued for maximum terms not exceeding twenty years and be payable not later than June thirtieth, two thousand and seventeen. All interest and payments on account of principal of such obligations shall be payable from the Local Aid Fund. Bonds issued under authority of this section and the interest thereon shall, notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, be general obligations of the commonwealth.
SECTION 11. The state treasurer may borrow from time to time on the credit of the commonwealth such sums of money as may be necessary for the purposes of meeting payments authorized by section nine of this act and may issue and renew from time to time notes of the commonwealth therefor, bearing interest payable at such times and at such rates as shall be fixed by the state treasurer. In accordance with the recommendations which the governor shall submit pursuant to Section 3 of Article LXII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, such notes shall be issued and may be renewed one or more times for terms not exceeding one year and the final maturities of such notes, whether original or renewal, shall not be later than June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-two. Such notes and any renewals thereof shall be general obligations of the commonwealth.
SECTION 12. Section seven of this act shall expire on June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine.