280: Call to Action: Act NOW - Final Days of Budget Negotiations

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Posted: May 15, 2011


In this issue:

I. CALL TO ACTION: Act Now  - Final Days of Budget Negotiations

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 few days of budget negotiations for 2012-2013. 

Go to TAKE ACTION! to send an email. This automated email system to legislators has been updated with the latest information so everyone should send a message to legislative offices about current budget deliberations. You can customize the email to make your own statement about the importance of library programs.

Actions Needed – Please ask your state senator and representative to work with colleagues 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.

Conference committee members are: Rep. Jim Pitts (jim.pitts@house.state.tx.us), Rep. Myra Crownover (myra.crownover@house.state.tx.us), Rep. John Otto (john.otto@house.state.tx.us), Rep. Sylvester Turner (sylvester.turner@house.state.tx.us), Rep. John Zerwas (john.zerwas@house.state.tx.us), Sen. Steve Ogden (steve.ogden@senate.state.tx.us), Sen. Juan Hinojosa (juan.hinojosa@senate.state.tx.us),  Sen. Jane Nelson (jane.nelson@senate.state.tx.us), Sen. Tommy Williams (tommy.williams@sentate.state.tx.us), and Sen. Robert Duncan (robert.duncan@sentate.state.tx.us).

Call their office.  You can also call your legislators’ 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.

II. Bill Actions & Updates (Recent Activity)

HB 2139 (Guillen): Relating to authorizing the State Library to create an “Adopt-a-Library” program. Last Action: Scheduled for hearing in Senate Government Organization, 5/16/11.

 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: 5/12/11: Passed House and referred to Senate Economic Development.

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: Heard in House Committee on State Affairs, 5/12/11.

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.

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Created on May 15, 2011 | Last updated May 15, 2011