273: Bill and Budget Update

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Posted: March 22, 2011


In this issue:

  1. Bill Update
  2. Budget Update

I. Bill Update

SB 773 (Zaffirini)/ HB 3258  (Strama): The bill extends the state’s telecommunications discount for libraries, schools, and higher education. The Senate bill (SB 773), which was presented at a hearing on March 8, is still in committee. We need this bill to be voted out of committee and passed by both chambers. (For additional information, see Texline 271 and telecommunications discount program.) To send an email in support of this legislation, click on keep broadband affordable.

Other Bills Supported by TLA

HB 493 (Dutton): Relating to evaluation under the public school accountability system of the delivery of library resources. The measure would give the Commissioner of Education the option of including the delivery of library resources as a criterion for district accreditation. Last Action02/17/2011 H Referred to Public Education. To send an email to legislators on the value of school librarians, click on School Librarians ARE Teachers.

HB 1505 (Munoz, Jr.)/ SB 784 (Hinojosa): Relating to librarians employed by school districts. The measure outlines that districts may employ a certified school librarian for campuses of over 500 students. Last Action02/18/2011 H Filed. To send an email to legislators on the value of school librarians, click on School Librarians ARE Teachers.

HB 1394 (Castro): Relating to reports concerning the number of full-time librarians, counselors, and school nurses who are employed at a public school. The measure would require that campuses and districts report the number of listed full-time employees and include student ratio information. Last Action02/16/2011 H Filed. To send an email to legislators on the value of school librarians, click on School Librarians ARE Teachers.

HB 2139 (Guillen): Relating to authorizing the State Library to create an “Adopt-a-Library” program. Last Action: 3/18/11 Scheduled for hearing on 3/23/11 in State Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee.

HB 3283(Guillen): Relating to the authority of certain development corporations to undertake projects with respect to community libraries. Last Action: 03/18/2011 H Referred to Urban Affairs.

Bills Being Monitored

HB 209 (Alonzo) : Relating to providing Internet access in certain local public libraries. Last Action02/21/2011 Pulled from hearing schedule.

SB 834 (Deuell)/HB 2765 (Gallego, Chisum): Relating to the update of discounted telecommunication services provided to educational institutions, libraries, hospitals, and health centers. This measure adds a health entity for discount eligibility and amends the a portion of statute to extend the discounts until 2020. Last ActionThe Senate bill was heard in Committee (3/8/11); left pending.

HB 3367 (White): Relating to the repeal of the laws authorizing the imposition of ad valorem taxes, the rates and expansion of the applicability of state and local sales and use taxes, the distribution of sales and use tax revenue to entities formerly imposing ad valorem taxes, and the replacement of ad valorem tax revenue in relation to financing public schools. Note some impact to library districts. Last Action03/18/2011 H Referred to Ways & Means.

SB 1488  (West): Relating to the purchasing and contracting practices of junior college districts; providing criminal penalties. The bill includes (TLA supported) statutory language permitting exceptions for library purchases. Last Action03/22/2011 S Referred to Higher Education.

HB 2879 (King, Phil):  Relating to the abolishment of the Texas Historical Commission and the transfer of its duties to the Parks and Wildlife Commission, the General Land Office, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Last Action03/17/2011 H Referred to State Affairs.

II. Budget Update; Keep Contacting Legislative Offices

The Senate is continuing work on its version of the budget bill. As legislators continue to work on the budget, it is imperative they hear from constituents and stakeholder groups. Please call or send an email to your legislators. Click on Protect Statewide Library Program and make your case for state support of library programs. Recruit others to speak out for library programs.

KEEP CONTACTING LEGISLATORS!

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.
  • Join the Save Libraries Cause on Facebook.
  • Sign the Save Libraries Petition.
  • Send faxes and make phone calls.
  • Post messages on social media sites.

Here’s a sample Facebook message (with links) to keep up the advocacy. 

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.  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.

TEXLINE INDEX

Created on Mar 22, 2011 | Last updated March 22, 2011