Texline 278: Bill and Budget Update

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Posted: April 27, 2011


In this issue:

I. Bill Update

II. Budget Recap

III. Keep Contacting Legislators


I. Bill Actions & Update

HB 3283(Guillen): Relating to the authority of certain development corporations to undertake projects with respect to community libraries. This bill merely gives local communities the option of using local economic development funding to construct and equip community libraries.  Last Action: 4/13/11: The bill was left pending in committee. If your representative serves on the Urban Affairs Committee, please contact your representative and ask that the bill be voted out favorably as soon as possible.

H. Urban Affairs Committee Members: Reps. Harold Dutton, Chair (512-463-0510); Carol Alvarado, Vice-Chair (512-463-0732); Bill Callegari (512-463-0528); Roland Gutierrez (512-463-0452); Phil King (512-463-0738); Barbara Mallory Caraway (512-463-0664); Tan Parker (512-463-0688); Ken Paxton (512-463-0356); and David Simpson (512-463-0750). Simply call the office, ask to speak to the staffer who works on Urban Affairs matters, tell them that you would like the representative to support HB 3283, and ask that it be voted out as soon as possible.

HB 1505 (Muñoz, Jr.): The bill encourages districts to employ certified school librarians at elementary campuses.  Last Action: The bill was heard in committee on 4/19/11 and was left pending.

HB 2139 (Guillen): Relating to authorizing the State Library to create an “Adopt-a-Library” program. Last Action: Passed by House. Received in the Senate, 4/26/11.

HB 2765 (Gallego): Relating to the update of discounted telecommunication services provided to educational institutions, libraries, hospitals, and health centers. This bill contains the same language as SB 773. Last Action: House committee report sent to Calendars Committee, 4/19/11.

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 ActionsReported favorably from committee. Senate committee report printed and distributed, 4/26/11.

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. (For additional information, see telecommunications discount program.) Last Actions: Passed by Senate, referred to House Committee on State Affairs, 4/26/11. Please send an email in support of this legislation, click on keep broadband affordable. 

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 library programs. This means that, in addition to the $2.5 mil/biennium restored in TSLAC’s base budget (Article I) for TexShare, a total of $8.25 million/biennium for library programs (i.e., K-12 databases, TexShare, and Loan Star Libraries) was included in Article XI.   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.

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 very soon. 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>

 


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Created on Apr 27, 2011 | Last updated April 27, 2011