Texline 294: Bill and Legislative Update

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TEXLINE 294
Posted: April 16, 2013


Table of Contents

  1. Bill Update
  2. Budget Update

I. BILL UPDATE

To access the language of the bills, go to: www.capitol.state.tx.us and click the bill search radio button and enter the bill number.

HB 2519 (Springer): Changes current statute to allow a county commissioners court to refuse to establish a county library even when a majority of voters submit a petition. Hearing set in County Affairs for 4/18. TLA Opposes. See TALKING POINTS for information about the bill.

The members of the Committee on County Affairs:

Rep. Garnet Coleman (Chair)

Rep. Joe Farias (Vice-Chair)

Rep. Mary Gonzalez  

Rep. Ana Luna

Rep. Todd Hunter

Rep. Matt Krause

Rep. David Simpson

Rep. Jonathan Stickland

 

HB 374 (Guillen):  Allows local development corporations the option of undertaking projects related to community libraries. Bill rescheduled in Special Purpose on 4/17/13. TLA Supports. See TALKING POINTS for information about the bill.

The members of the Committee on Special Purpose Districts:

Rep. Dennis Bonnen

Rep. Doug Miller

Rep. Carol Alvarado

Rep. Travis Clardy

Rep. Craig Goldman

Rep. Matt Krause

Rep. Eddie Lucio III

Rep. Jonathan Stickland

Rep. Ed Thompson

 

HB 693 (Phillips): Allows a city water utility to include a customer donation option for a local library. Hearing in Committee on Natural Resources. TLA Supports.

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II. BUDGET UPDATE

As reporter in Texline 293, both the House and Senate have finalized their respective versions of the budget and must now reconcile those differences through a specially-appointed conference committee. The conference committee membership is expected to be named any day now. Library supporters should contact all members of the conference committee to ask for full funding of key library proposals contained in the budget of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The finalized House version of the budget funds the State Library’s current funding PLUS $7,250,000 for Shared Digital Content (amount includes funding for TexShare, K-12 database access, and additional e-content). The agency requested a total of $9,250,000 for this item. (The $2 million not funded was placed in Article XI of the budget as was the request for $3.4 million for the Partnerships for Innovation Grants program.)

The Senate version of the budget recommends for the State Library’s current funding PLUS $7,496,992 for Shared Digital Content (amount includes funding for TexShare, K-12 database access, and additional e-content). (The nearly $2 million not funded  for this request was placed in Article XI of the budget as was the request for $3.4 million for the Partnerships for Innovation Grants program.)

Our message: With thank the House and Senate for recognizing the importance of library services. We ask for them to fully fund the State Library’s requests for Shared Digital Content and Partnership for Innovation Grants by also funding the balance for these items as presented in Article XI of the budget.

About these programs are:

  1. Shared Digital Content for all types of libraries. Resources include curriculum materials, college preparation, research, job searching, career and test preparation, and other assistance in helping people reach their economic goals.
  2. Innovation Partnership Grants for training and programming  are built on local partnerships and innovative practices to advance educational attainment, workforce development, and written and digital literacy.

Combined, these items come to less than half of what was cut from library services last year.  But if funded, libraries will be able to continue state programming in 2014-15 and be in a position to continue to receive the state’s full allocation of federal funds.

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TEXLINE is an irregular e-newsletter that is sent whenever state library-related policy or legislative action is occurring. 

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Created on Apr 16, 2013 | Last updated April 16, 2013