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Get the latest news and updates on Pennsylvania library legislative issues. Be sure to include the word "legislative" in your search.

 

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Legislative Update- June 24, 2016

Posted By Carrie Turner, Monday, June 27, 2016

Members of the Legislative Committee of Pennsylvania Library Association recently received a briefing on the state budget negotiations from our lobbying firm, Greenlee & Associates.  The Governor and the leadership of the House and Senate are working together to pass the budget in a timely manner.  At issue are sources of additional revenue to close a large budget deficit.  There appears to be agreement that increases in the Personal Income Tax and Sales Tax rates will not be on the table this year.  Instead, the Legislature is looking at cigarette taxes and gambling revenues. 

The Governor’s proposed budget includes a $1 million increase to library funding.  As always, the library community is encouraged to foster a cordial relationship with its elected officials.  At the present time, it appears that we will have a budget soon and one which includes an increase for libraries.  If that situation changes, we will be in touch.

Your individual and organizational membership dues fund our voice in Harrisburg.  Please join or renew your membership so that you are helping to move PA Libraries Forward.

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Urgent Legislative Action - April 2016

Posted By Catherine Alloway, Friday, April 22, 2016
Ready for Primary Election Day???  We know you are.  And get your voice ready for another important political cause:  LIBRARY FUNDING.

In the run up to Election Day, please thank your local and state legislators, who are out and about, for their increased support for libraries in the 2015-16 state budget.  And ask them to support the proposed $1.5 million increase for library services in the 2016-17 state budget

Take Action! 

In the next two weeks, library supporters need to contact state legislators in person, by phone, email or letter, to show appreciation and build support for the increase.

Thank State Officials 

Your state legislators' contact information is found on the PaLA Website under Take Action > Contact Your State Officials.

Thank Local Officials 

This is also the time to thank your municipal elected officials and staff for their support.  Keep them informed of your library's role in the community BEFORE your next request for funds.

Thank you! 

Thanks to all of you who responded in the past. 

The Pennsylvania Library Association's recent efforts resulted in an increase for library services in this budget year.  We can do it again - but only with your help!  Greenlee Partners and the PaLA Legislative Committee met recently to keep the momentum going for this critical regrowth of library state aid.  Let us know how you have helped the cause.

Sincerely,

The PaLA Legislative CommitteeCarrie Turner and Cathi Alloway, Co-Chairs

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Legislative Update- March 2016

Posted By Carrie Turner, Friday, March 25, 2016

Monday, March 28 is the last day to register before the April 26 primary election! Spread the word.

Public libraries received increased state funding this year (2015-2016)! PaLA has been hard at work and helped make this happen. We had a unified voice in expressing our disappointment in being "left behind" in Wolf's first, "pro-education" budget. Thanks to all of you who responded to our requests for advocacy help. We are listed for another increase in the 2016-17 Governor's proposed budget. We hope you are pleased with the effect your professional organization has had in keeping the library brand front-of-mind for elected officials. If you are not a member or have let your membership lapse, NOW is the time to support our efforts by joining, renewing or signing-up for organizational membership.

Budget Impasse Update

Almost 9 months and the 2015-2016 Pennsylvania budget STILL has not been passed. With the budget still looming, the Senate Appropriations Committee is now into hearings on the  2016-2017 budget.  Some bills have been introduced to move things along, but there isn't any big news to report.  Meanwhile, Gov. Wolf announced he has treatable prostate cancer, and attention is being turned more toward...

The National and State Elections

The Presidential politics are - well, no one has seen anything quite like it in recent times.  Meanwhile, a hotly contested PA Senate race and other national offices are up for grabs.  Are YOU registered to vote in the primary? - the deadline is Mon. March 28.  Does your library have voter registration information available?  It's important this year.  www.votespa.com is the official state voter registration info website.  

Your Local Elected Officials

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to thank your municipalities for their support. Share your annual report from 2015 about your library's contributions to community well-being.  The PA Forward platform is a great framework to discuss how the library is moving your service area ahead! 

Talk to Us!

Let us know what's going on the local political scene.  Our committee meets again on April 21.  We'll keep you posted of any urgent updates. 

 

From Carrie Turner (cturner@mclinc.org) and Cathi Alloway, (calloway@schlowlibrary.org) PA Library Association Legislative Committee Co-Chairs

 

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Legislative Update- January 2016

Posted By Carrie Turner, Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy New Year PaLA Members, library supporters and staff!  Well, it has been a wild ride and it is not over yet but the library line items in the state budget did make it past the legislature and the governor and state aid checks should be rolling out soon.  Public libraries will also see a 1.8% increase in state aid.

There is, however, no rest for the weary.   Resolve to practice library advocacy at least once a month in this New Year.  For January, please reach out and thank your local elected officials for increasing state aid.  That was a bipartisan effort so you can thank everyone.  Let them know what it will mean for your community in terms of positive outcomes.  January also presents a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for future relationships by congratulating newly elected or reelected candidates.  Send a card, set-up an appointment or give a library tour.

Finally, we think it is important to reflect on the fact that many of our colleagues in education were not as fortunate in the budget impasse.  The hard work of PaLA and Greenlee Associates made a difference.  Our voice was heard in Harrisburg.  The information that many of you provided about your contingency plans in the absence of state funds helped us to accurately portray the dire situations you were facing.   Please renew your personal and institutional memberships so the association’s work can continue.  After all, it is not that long before the next budget season begins.    

Best wishes for a successful 2016!

David Schappert, Jennifer Stocker, Carrie Turner and Cathi Alloway
On behalf of Pennsylvania Library Association’s Legislative Committee

 

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ACT NOW on State Budget Impasse

Posted By Catherine Alloway, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today is day 169 without a state budget.  We have heard from more libraries of their plans to reduce hours and staff, get loans, or outright CLOSE after the holidays. Public libraries are only 4 weeks away from their expected Jan. state aid checks....and if the state needs 3 weeks+ to mail the checks out, we will shortly be at a date when the money will most certainly arrive later than expected. 

What can libraries do? 

On Monday, December 7, 2015, the Senate voted 43-7 to approve Senate Bill 1073. SB 1073 is based on the agreed upon bipartisan framework and provides what appears to be the best chance of coming to consensus. The House is still debating. See the proposed spending breakdown here.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT THE SENATE BILL AND APPROVE A BUDGET.  Better yet, get your patrons, boards, Friends groups, and others to join in the chorus. 

DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND DO IT NOW.  Go immediately to www.palibraries.org and click on "Take Action" for the advocacy tools and CapWiz, which helps you identify your state officials. 

CONTACT PaLA Interim Director David Schappert about your library's plans and actions to deal with the state budget impasse.   dschappert@maryu.marywood.edu 

The Pennsylvania Library Association continues to represent you on the front lines.  If you are not a member, please consider joining us in this advocacy by enrolling at www.palibraries.org   We will take PA FORWARD as we work together to continue library services to our citizens. 

From the PaLA Legislative Committee:  Jennifer Stocker and Cathi Alloway, Co-Chairs

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