Texline 279: Call to Action: Act NOW to Restore Library Funding

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Posted: May 9, 2011

In this issue:

I. CALL TO ACTION: Act Now to Restore Key Funding for Libraries

II. Bill Update (Recent Activity)

I. CALL TO ACTION: Act Now to Restore Key Funding for Libraries

Library supporters must act now to help restore funding for statewide library programs. The Legislature is in the final phase of completing the state budget for 2012-2013.  Both the House and Senate have completed their respective versions of the budget and will now form a conference committee to finalize the budget.

Conference Committee members are: Rep. Jim Pitts, Rep. Myra Crownover, Rep. John Otto, Rep. Sylvester Turner, Rep. John Zerwas, Sen. Steve Ogden, Sen. Juan Hinojosa,  Sen. Jane Nelson, Sen. Tommy Williams, and Sen. Robert Duncan.

The automated email system to legislators has been updated with the latest information so everyone should send a message again to legislative offices. Go to TAKE ACTION! to send an email. Please edit the message to customize the email. Explain why library programs are important to your community!

Actions Needed – Ask state senators and representatives to:

1.    Adopt Senate version of $3.5 million for TexShare AND House Article XI amount of $5.25 million for K-12 databases and TexShare (i.e., library resource sharing). If adopted, this amount would still represent over a 30% cut from current levels.

2.    Adopt House recommendation of $3 million in Article XI for Loan Star Libraries (Direct Aid to Public Libraries). If adopted, this amount would still represent an almost 80% cut in this program. 

Do note that HB1/SB 1 as introduced cut $32 million is state funding for library programs. Even with recommended funding levels above, library programs would still be cut by over 60%.  This figure does NOT include the expected loss of millions of dollars in federal funds.

Who to Contact

All library supporters are urged to contact their own senator and representative.  Please email them as well as call their office. We must absolutely be persistent in this matter. Phone calls and personalized letters are especially helpful.   Use as many of the following methods to contact your legislators as possible. 

1) Call their office.  Click on House representatives phone numbers (use area code 512) or Senate phone numbers (use area code 512). When you reach the office, ask to speak to the person who deals with budget issues. Introduce yourself so that they will know you are a constituent.  Tell them you would like the representative (or senator) to support library funding in the following two ways. Refer to items 1 and 2 on the “Actions Needed” list above. If you are told that your legislator is not on the conference or budget committee, ask that your legislator contact the members of the conference committee to request this small but key restoration for library programs. Thank them and follow up with an email.

2) Email your legislators.  Go to TAKE ACTION! to send an email. Please edit the message to customize your email. Explain why library programs are important to you and your community!

3) Recruit support. Ask your library’s supporters and friends to also contact legislators with this message.

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.

II. Bill Actions & Updates (Recent Activity)

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: 5/5/11: House committee report sent to Local & Consent.

HB 2139 (Guillen): Relating to authorizing the State Library to create an “Adopt-a-Library” program. Last Action: Referred to Senate Government Organization, 4/29/11.

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 ActionsReferred to House Higher Education, 5/4/11.

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.


Created on May 9, 2011 | Last updated May 09, 2011