Texline 276: Bill Update

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Posted: April 10, 2011


In this issue:

I. Bill Update (Recent Activity)

II. Budget Update

III. Keep Contacting Legislators


I. Bill Update

Supported by TLA

SB 773 (Zaffirini): The bill extends the state’s telecommunications discount for libraries, schools, and higher education. The bill was amended during the committee process, and the bill would now extend the discount program for another four years. TLA supports the committee substitute. TLA thanks Sen. Zaffirini for her support of libraries.(For additional information, see telecommunications discount program.) To send an email in support of this legislation, click on keep broadband affordable. Last Action: S Reported out of committee and printed and distributed.

HB 3283(Guillen): Relating to the authority of certain development corporations to undertake projects with respect to community libraries. TLA supports this bill and thanks Rep. Guillen for his support of libraries. Last Action: The bill is scheduled for a hearing in Urban Affairs on 4/13/2011.

H. Urban Affairs Committee Members: Reps. Harold Dutton (Chair); Carol Alvarado (Vice-Chair); Bill Callegari; Roland Gutierrez; Phil King; Barbara Mallory Caraway; Tan Parker; Ken Paxton; and David Simpson.

Opposed by TLA

HB 1553 (Larson): Relating to citizenship information reported by persons, including state agencies, political subdivisions of this state, nonprofit organizations, and public and private entities, who receive local or state money to provide services. The bill would require entities receiving state funding to: determine the citizenship of any persons receiving services, determine a cost of those services; and report on those transactions to the state. Last Action: The bill is scheduled for a hearing in State Affairs on 4/13/2011.

H. State Affairs Committee Members: Reps. Byron Cook (Chair); José Menendez (Vice Chair); Tom Craddick; John Frullo; Pete Gallego; Charlie Geren; Patricia Harless; Harvey Hilderbran; Dan Huberty; Rene Oliveira; John Smithee; Burt Solomons; and Sylvester Turner.

II. Budget Recap

The final House version of the state’s budget (HB 1) restores $2.5 million/biennium to TexShare. The budget also contains contingency appropriations (Article XI) for Loan Star Libraries and databases.   Note that items in Article XI are not funded; rather, Article XI is considered a sort of “wish list” so that, if additional funding does become available, programs in Article XI are prioritized. TLA offers its deepest thanks to Representatives Rafael Anchía (Dallas), Roland Gutierrez (San Antonio), and David Simpson (Longview) who put forward amendments to restore funding to libraries.  We also thank Reps. Jim Pitts and John Otto, who stood ready to accept amendments for library funding.

The Senate Finance Committee has recommended a $3.5 million/biennium restoration of funds for TexShare. The full Senate is expected to finalize its version of the budget in the coming days. Once the Senate finalizes its draft, a conference committee will be named (with key members from both chambers) to finalize the budget.

III. KEEP CONTACTING LEGISLATORS!

The budget process is far from over, and library supporters are urged to continue contacting legislators in both the House and Senate about the need to restore library funding. If your representative serves on the Appropriations Committee or if your senator serves on the Senate Finance Committee, it is particularly important that you contact them. We must redouble our efforts and contact legislators today. Go to TAKE ACTION! to send an email. Please customize the message.

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.

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Created on Apr 10, 2011 | Last updated April 10, 2011