271: Telecom Bill and Reminder on Hearing Schedule and Markups

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Posted: March 6, 2011

In this issue:

  1. Telecommunications Bill
  2. Hearing Schedule
  3. Budget Markups

Telecommunications Bill
The Senate Committee on Business and Industry will hear testimony on SB 773 (Zaffirini) on Tuesday, March 8. This bill, which is a primary platform item for TLA, seeks to extend the statewide telecommunications discount program for 12 years. The current telecommunications statewide program for schools, libraries, and higher education requires providers to offer certain services (such as T1 lines and fiber connections) at no more than 110% of costs. Without legislative action, the program expires on Jan. 1, 2012. To learn more, see telecommunications discount program.
To send a message to legislators about the telecommunications discount program, go to keep broadband affordable.

Committee members include: Sen. John Carona (Chair); Sen. Chris Harris (Vice-Chair); Sen. Kevin Eltife; Sen. Craig Estes; Sen. Mike Jackson; Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.; Sen. Leticia Van de Putte; Sen. Kirk Watson; and Sen. John Whitmire.

Other Telecommunications Legislation
In a separate measure, the Business and Commerce Committee will also hear testimony on SB 834 (Deuell) which seeks to add a health care entity as eligible for the discounts and seeks to extend the discount program.  

The Senate Education Committee may also consider legislation that would include language to extend the telecommunications discounts.The Senate Education Committee is set to meet on Tuesday, March 8 as well.
Hearing Schedule
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on the State Library’s budget on March 7 at 10 am. See Texline 270 for additional details. Library supporters are urged to contact their senators (especially if they serve on the Finance Committee) and ask them to support library programs.
To email your senator on the importance of restoring funds to libraries, go to: Protect Statewide Library Programs. Please take the time customize the message.
Budget Markups
Also, please note that the House Appropriations Committee is finalizing budget recommendations for TEA. Be sure to contact your state representative and let them know that funding for the K-12 databases must be restored. Use the link above to send a message.

House Appropriations Committee members are: Jim Pitts, Chair; Sylvester Turner, Vice-Chair; Jimmie Don Aycock; Angie Chen Button; Warren Chisum; Myra Crownover, Drew Darby; Dawnna Dukes; Craig Eiland; Helen Giddings; Lance Gooden; Scott Hochberg; Eric Johnson; Susan King; Dee Margo; Armando Martinez; Ruth Jones McClendon; Doug Miller; Geanie Morrison; John Otto; Diana Patrick; Debbie Riddle; Charles Schwertner; Mark Shelton; Raul Torres; Mike Villareal; and John Zerwas.

Appropriation Committee members working on the TEA budget recommendations include: Rep. Hochberg, Chair (District 137); Rep. Aycock (District 54); Rep. Crownover (District 64); Rep. Giddings (District 109); Rep. Morrison (District 30); Rep. Patrick (District 94); and Rep. Villareal (District 123).

The budget process is far from over, and library supporters are urged to continue contacting elected officials (in both the House and Senate) about the need to restore library funding. We must keep contacting elected officials throughout the session.·         

  • Go to: TAKE ACTION! Recruit friends and supporters to send messages.
  • Send faxes and make phone calls.
  • Post messages on social media sites.

Here’s a sample Facebook message (with links).

Texas Library Association <http://www.facebook.com/TexasLibraryAssociation>  Take Action NOW!! This link is set up to send an email to your legislators. You can customize your message to describe the negative impact of budget cuts. Pass this link along to everyone and anyone to have them send an email to help restore library funding.

Library Issues & Taking Action | Texas Library Association <http://capwiz.com/ala/tx/issues/alert/?alertid=22992501&amp;PROCESS=Take+Action>

TEXLINE is an irregular e-newsletter that is sent whenever state library-related policy or legislative action is occurring. To subscribe to Texline, send an email to gloriam@txla.org and specify that you would like to be added to the Texline list. You can follow TLA legislative news during the session on Twitter.

To subscribe to Texline, send an email to gloriam@txla.org and specify that you would like to be added to the Texline list.


Created on Mar 7, 2011 | Last updated March 07, 2011