Tag Archives: library legislation

Let the world know what angry librarians are like!

CMLE members: it’s time!

Angry tiger
We get a pittance of money at all levels to provide an extraordinary amount of services to our communities – and our federal money is being threatened. Our federal money is threatened, our federal office is threatened – and our libraries will suffer!

DO NOT STAND FOR THIS! Let the world know just how valuable libraries are, and about the work that you do!! Let’s NOT just sit passively and quietly as our structures are dismantled, and our organizations ruined!!

Be proud of yourself, and of your library!

Our work is important – and should not be devalued and defunded!!

Even if your library does not directly receive money from IMLS, you receive services through the state from IMLS. Losing our federal agency – the only voice our profession has in the federal government – will be a disastrous blow to us.

In 2016, Minnesota received $2,732,686 from IMLS. That money goes to individual libraries in LSTA grants, and helps support  statewide programs and services we all use. Let’s not let this go!

Read this press release from the Young Adult library services association of ALA, and DO SOMETHING today!!

YOUR VOICE MATTERS!!

If you have other questions, or want to talk about emails you can send, phone calls you can make, or other things you can do to, you can always reach out to us here at CMLE Headquarters! We are here to support you, and the work you do for your community. Continue reading Let the world know what angry librarians are like!

Advocate! Send a handwritten note!!

Passing this on from the ALA!

It’s Take Action Tuesday and Week 3 of the Winter 2017 Everyday Advocacy Challenge!

Send a handwritten invitation to a local elected official or staff person.

Our Week Two challenge was to make a phone call or in-person visit to a local official’s office to introduce yourself, including the elevator speech you wrote during Week One.

Continue reading Advocate! Send a handwritten note!!

Start planning now: Library Legislative Day is coming soon!

ala

At CMLE Headquarters, we want you to be informed about all the great things happening across the profession. And advocacy is ALWAYS an important topic!!

If there is sufficient interest in this, CMLE HQ can help to make arrangements for members to travel to Washington DC, so we can directly tell our federal politicians how valuable we are to our communities. Funding is going to be tight, and priorities for resources are shifting – and libraries are not at the top of the list for support.

The profession needs YOU!

  • If you can not make it to Washington, then attend our Minnesota legislative day!
  • If you can not do that, then give your legislator a call and tell them (briefly, politely) about something great your library did today, or this week, or this month.
  • And if you need to practice your phone call before you make it, talk to us first! We can help you organize ideas, and to feel confident that you have a great story to share!!

This is not just for “other” library people, or just people with a degree, or just ALA members, or just ANYTHING!

YOU are in a library, YOU know about the service you provide, the materials your patrons would not have without you, the help you give every single day. YOU are exactly the right person to do some advocacy for your library, for your community, and for your profession. GO TELL SOMEONE!!

(There we go – that’s library advocacy! You nailed it!!) Continue reading Start planning now: Library Legislative Day is coming soon!

Library legislative update: 6/10/16

State CapitolThe following legislative updates were written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information Technology Educators of MN (ITEM). CMLE helps pay this lobbyist to serve the best interests of academic, K-12, public, and special libraries in Central MN (Latest information is at the top)

Received Friday, June 10, 2016 at 7:17 p.m.

Tax Bill Veto:  On Monday of this week, Governor Dayton pocket-vetoed the omnibus tax bill by taking no action on the bill before the 14 day deadline.  His veto was due to concerns about an error in a section of the bill relating to charitable gambling taxes that would have cost the state $101 million in lost revenue over the next three years.  The main item of interest to libraries in the tax bill is an increase in aid to cities and counties.

Special Session Outlook:  On Tuesday, Governor Dayton met with three of the four legislative caucus leaders (Senator Bakk, Speaker Daudt and Rep. Thissen; Senator Hann chose not to attend) to discuss a possible special session to pass a bonding bill, a corrected tax bill and some additional budget items that the governor would like to see enacted.  The meeting was brief and nothing was resolved.  Reportedly they plan to meet again sometime in the middle of next week.

Since then Governor Dayton has been traveling across the state to drum up public support for his priorities for a special session.  High on the governor’s list is a transportation funding package that includes transit in the metro area, which is very controversial with House Republicans.

Bonding Bill:  As I have previously reported, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a $1.1 billion bonding bill on the last day of session.  The bill passed the House, but time ran out before it could pass the Senate.  Later it was discovered that there were a number of projects that appeared on the spreadsheet, but were not actually included in the bill (this was not the case for any library projects).

Governor Dayton and legislative leaders are eager to pass a bonding bill during a special session, but reaching agreement will not be easy.  Speaker Daudt has said that the House will revert to its original position of a $600 million bonding bill (even though they never actually brought a bill of that size to the House floor), while Governor Dayton has demanded the inclusion of $183 million for projects that were left out of the bill agreed to by the conference committee.

Bonding Conference Committee Hearing:  On Tuesday, June 14 the bonding bill conference committee will meet from 1-4pmin room 10 of the State Office Building.  The purpose of the hearing is to review the conference committee agreement and take public testimony.  I expect the discussion to focus on the more controversial projects and those that were included on the spreadsheet but left out of the bill.  We will keep you posted.

Elaine Keefe

Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 255
St. Paul, MN 55103
(cell) 612-590-1244
elaine@capitolhillassoc.com

 

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/oddkzbj, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Library legislative update: 5/15/16

State CapitolThe following legislative updates were written by Elaine Keefe, library lobbyist for the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and Information Technology Educators of MN (ITEM). CMLE helps pay this lobbyist to serve the best interests of academic, K-12, public, and special libraries in Central MN. (Latest information is at the top)

Received Tuesday, May 18, 2016 at 1:19 a.m.
Good news!  The House is scheduled to release its bonding bill tomorrow morning (May18), and it will include $2 million for Library Construction Grants.  This is great news, given that the total House bonding proposal is slightly under $800 million.  Thank you to all of you who contacted your representatives to ask them to include funding for Library Construction Grants in the bonding bill!

Received Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 4:19 PM

End of Session Negotiations:  The legislative session is nearing the end.  Legislators must adjourn no later than Monday, May 23.  Since they cannot pass bills on the final day, time is running short for Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to reach agreement on transportation, taxes, a supplemental budget bill and a bonding bill.  They met twice last week and so far all they have agreed upon is that they want to reach an agreement on a transportation package before working on the other three bills.  Governor Dayton plans to present a compromise proposal on Monday.

Bonding Bill:  The Senate’s bonding bill, which spent a total of $1.8 billion, failed on the Senate floor by 1 vote.  Bonding bills require a supermajority of 3/5, which means 41 votes are needed to pass the Senate.  The bill only received 40 votes.  Only 1 Republican, Senator Carla Nelson of Rochester, voted for the bill.

During the debate Republicans offered a bonding bill of their own, which spent $992 million.  It cut funding for Library Construction Grants to $1 million and eliminated funding for the new East Central Regional Library headquarters/Cambridge Library and the Bagley Public Library.  The proposal only garnered 18 votes.

House Republicans still have not brought forward a bonding bill.  They originally said they wanted to spend only $600 million, but Speaker Daudt admitted to reporters that a bill of that size will not get the 81 votes needed to pass the House.  This prompted Senate Majority Leader Bakk to observe that the Senate bill is too big to pass and the House bill is too small to pass.  If a bonding bill does pass this session, it will need to be somewhere in between.

A bill significantly smaller than the Senate bill with more emphasis on transportation projects is likely to come out of the House, and that could mean no funding for Library Construction Grants.  Now is the time for members of the House to hear from you.

PLEASE contact your representatives in the House and urge them to make sure that Library Construction Grants are included in the House bonding bill!

 Supplemental Budget (HF 2749):  A ten member conference committee is negotiating a 600 page omnibus supplemental budget bill.  The conferees met three times last week to have staff walk through a side by side comparison of the provisions in the House and Senate bills.  Another meeting is scheduled for 6pm tonight (Sunday).  Negotiations on budget items cannot get serious until Governor Dayton and legislative leaders agree on how much spending will be included in the bill.  That will depend on how much is spent on transportation, which is being negotiated in a separate conference committee.  As a reminder, the items we are following in the supplemental budget conference committee are Border to Border Broadband grants, K-12 broadband grants, total operating capital and after school funding.  See my April 29 update for details.

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 255
St. Paul, MN 55103
(cell) 612-590-1244
elaine@capitolhillassoc.com

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/oddkzbj, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0