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Legislature spares Bemidji, other libraries from legacy cuts

BEMIDJI — Minnesota’s 12 regional library systems will avoid previously proposed cuts to its legacy funds.

The state Legislature adjourned Monday, approving $3 million for library systems to fund programs and events. That money came out of the legacy bill, which is funded by a voter-approved sales tax increase from 2008.

The Senate’s version of the bill included only $1 million for libraries, which Bemidji Public Library branch manager Paul Ericsson said would have likely meant fewer programs at the library.

Ericsson thanked those who contacted their legislators about the cuts.

"And we’re glad that the legislators responded and are funding the legacy amendment that had originally been proposing," Ericsson said.

He added funding formula changes will mean less for the Kitchigami Regional Library System in the coming two-year cycle. But Ericsson said reduction won’t be as severe as what was being proposed.

"We’re happy with this has ended up, given what the initial challenges were," Ericsson said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers local business and North Dakota politics. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Bemidji Pioneer.  

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