MN Legislative Update 2015-04-21

 The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist. 

House Legacy Bill: Yesterday the House Legacy Committee competed work on its omnibus bill and passed it out of committee. Rep. Dean Urdahl, chair of the committee, made it very clear in his opening remarks that no group was entitled to any particular amount of Legacy funding, regardless of what they had received in the past. As such, there is no such thing as a “cut” in Legacy funds. We all start out at zero for the biennium, and the amounts we receive will fluctuate – sometimes they will be higher and sometimes they will be lower than in the past. He said that some groups needed an “attitude adjustment.”

I spoke with Rep. Urdahl today and he expressed annoyance at the number of e-mails he had received about the level of library funding in the bill. I assured him that his message was loud and clear and that I would convey it to the library community. I also thanked him for including funding for libraries in his bill, acknowledging that he has long been a strong library supporter.

So, thank you to those of you who contacted your legislators and members of the House Legacy Committee. However, we need to stop complaining about the level of funding provided in the House Legacy bill.

Broadband: I reported last Thursday that the House was providing no new funding for broadband grants, while the Senate had $17 million in its budget and the Governor had $30 million in his budget proposal. However, on Friday when the omnibus jobs and energy bill was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee, $8 million was added for broadband grants. Funding for the Office of Broadband, which had been eliminated in the bill, was partially restored.

Library Construction Grants: Today I met with Rep. Jeff Howe (R – Rockville), a member of the House Capital Investment Committee. He agreed to introduce our bill to provide $10 million for Library Construction Grants. The bill is intended to put Library Construction Grants under consideration for inclusion in the 2016 bonding bill. We need to have it introduced this session so that it is on the radar of the House and Senate Capital Investment Committees as they tour the state this fall to look at proposed capital projects.

House Omnibus Tax Bill: Today the House Tax Committee passed its omnibus tax bill. Yesterday the committee took public testimony. The bill makes deep cuts in local government aid for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, but not for any other cities. Among the witnesses in opposition to these cuts were Kit Hadley, director of the St. Paul Public Library, and two branch managers. They spoke very eloquently about the impact these cuts would have on library services in St. Paul.

Other provisions of interest in the bill are as follows:

A sales tax exemption for building materials purchased by a contractor under a lump sum contract for buildings used by local governments. This was strongly supported by cities and counties.

An expansion of the current K-12 education expense subtraction to include pre-K expenses and private school tuition. The inclusion of private school tuition was strongly opposed by various school organizations.

A Property Tax Payers’ Empowerment Act, which allows a reverse referendum if a city or county increases its property tax levy over the previous year. The referendum is triggered if a petition signed by 10% of the voters in the last general election is filed by June 30. The referendum must be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This was opposed by cities and counties.

A working group to make recommendations on revising the county program aid distribution formula.

Repeal of library debt service aid for Minneapolis.

Data Practices Training for Local Units of Government: The Senate omnibus state government funding bill passed on the Senate floor yesterday. It includes $100,000 in each year of the biennium for the Department of Administration’s Information and Policy Analysis Division, commonly known as IPAD, to conduct training for local units of government on data practices laws. This was initiated by the League of Minnesota Cities. The funding is not included in the House omnibus state government funding bill.

Mn Legislative Update 2015-04-14

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Today the House and Senate omnibus education and higher education bills were released. Most library appropriations remained at current levels. Here are the items where changes were proposed:

Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS): The Senate education bill increases RLBSS to $14.92 million in FY 2016 (an increase of $1.35 million) and to $15.070 million in FY 2017 and future years (an increase of $1.5 million). The total increase for the biennium is $2.85 million. The RLBSS formula is modified by increasing the base from 5% to 13% and by decreasing the equalization component from 25% to 17%. The House makes no change in RLBSS, so this will be an item of difference in the conference committee.

Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA): The Senate education bill increases funding for TEA to $5.25 million per year, an increase of $1.5 million per year. The House provides no increase for TEA, so this will be an item of difference in the conference committee.

General Education Formula: The House provides an increase of 0.6% in each year of the biennium, while the Senate provides an increase of 1% per year. The general education formula is the primary source of funding for school library media programs.

MnSCU and the University of Minnesota: There are no general operating increases proposed for either MnSCU or the U of M. The Senate higher education bill includes funding for student tuition relief for both systems, while the House bill provides such funding only for MnSCU.

The committees will take testimony and consider amendments to their omnibus bills this week. The bills will be passed out of their respective committees no later than Thursday evening.

MN Legislative Update 2015-04-09

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Legislative Calendar: On Tuesday legislators returned from their Passover/Easter break. Next week many budget committees will be releasing their omnibus budget bills. The Senate E-12 Education Budget Division will release its omnibus budget bill online next Tuesday. They will take public testimony on Wednesday and then will consider amendments and pass the bill out of committee on Thursday. The House Education Finance Committee has not yet announced when its omnibus bill will be released. There is a great deal of work to be done before the May 18 adjournment deadline.

Budget Targets: Before leaving for the Passover/Easter break, House and Senate leaders announced their budget targets. The education community was shocked and deeply disappointed at the very low targets for education, particularly in the context of a state budget surplus of nearly $1.9 billion. The House has allocated just $157 million in new funding for education over the next two years. The Senate has allocated $350 million. This is in contrast to Governor Dayton’s proposal to spend an additional $694 million on education. The House and Senate targets will make it very difficult to obtain funding increases for libraries, despite the positive reception our bills received when they were heard in committee.

Senate Legacy Hearing: On Monday, April 13 at 6pm the Senate Legacy Subcommittee will be taking testimony on the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Ann Hutton and Melinda Ludwiczak will present our request for regional public libraries. The hearing will take place in Room 15 of the Capitol.

Governor’s Bonding Proposal: This week Governor Dayton released his bonding proposal, which totals $842 million. It includes $2 million for Library Construction Grants. This is the first time funding for this program has been included in a governor’s proposal. The likelihood of a bonding bill of that size is very slim. Traditionally the Legislature passes a fairly small bonding bill in the odd-numbered year session and a much larger bill in the even-numbered year. House Republicans have said they have no interest in passing any bonding bill this year. However, they have left open the possibility that they could agree to a small bill as part of the end-of-session negotiations.

Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA): The governor’s supplemental education budget bill was made public on Tuesday. It includes some changes to the eligible uses of RLTA to more closely align it with the federal e-rate program. The CRPLSA RLTA Committee reviewed the language and suggested two clarifying changes. MDE has agreed to one of them and is considering the other. Last night the House Education Finance Committee took testimony on the governor’s supplemental budget. I testified about that we support the new language on RLTA but were working with MDE on a couple of tweaks to it. I also expressed disappointment that there is no new money for libraries in the governor’s budget and urged the committee to consider including Rep. Nornes’ bill to increase funding for RLBSS and multi-type funding and Rep. Kresha’s bill to increase funding for TEA and RLTA as they put together their omnibus education funding bill.

State of the State: Governor Dayton will deliver his state of the state address tonight at 7pm before a joint session of the Legislature. The address will be live-streamed on many websites, including the House of Representatives website, the StarTribune, the Pioneer Press and MPR and affiliates. The address will also be broadcast live on MPR.

Elaine KeefeCapitol Hill Associates

MN Legislative Update 2015-03-23

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

House Legacy Hearing Today at 12:30pm:  Today Ann Hutton, SELCO, and Melinda Ludwiczak, MELSA, will present our request for Legacy funding for the regional public library systems to be increased to $4.25 million per year.  Please note that the time of the hearing is 12:30pm rather than the usual 12:45pm start time.  The hearing is in the Basement Hearing Room of the State Office Building.

Regional Public Library and Multi-type Funding Bill:  SF 832, our bill increasing Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS) by $5 million per year and increasing funding for the Multi-types by $1.3 million per year was heard this morning in the Senate E-12 Budget Division.  The bill was added to this morning’s agenda on Friday afternoon, so we had to scramble to line up witnesses and provide handouts to the committee staff by the close of business on Friday.  Barb Misselt testified on the RLBSS increase and Ann Walker Smalley testified on the multi-type increase.  Many thanks to both of them for agreeing to testify on such short notice. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus E-12 budget bill.

RLBSS Formula Change Bill:  SF 1675, the bill changing the RLBSS distribution formula and increasing RLBSS by $5 million per year, was also heard this morning in the Senate E-12 Budget Division.  Ann Hutton testified in support of the bill.  It was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus E-12 budget bill.

Omnibus Education Policy Bill (HF 1591/SF 1495): The House Education Innovation Policy Committee passed its version of the omnibus education policy bill on Thursday and referred it to the House Education Finance Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard tomorrow.  The Senate Education Committee passed its version of the omnibus education policy bill on Friday.  The bill includes the language from SF 337 conforming Minnesota law to federal law on the privacy of student educational records.  This was initiated by the St. Paul Schools to enable them to share student addresses with the St. Paul Public Library for the purpose of issuing public library cards to students.

Seed Library: The House omnibus agriculture policy bill, HF 1544, includes a provision exempting “interpersonal sharing of seed for home, educational, charitable or personal non-commercial use” from seed laws.  This will allow the Duluth Public Library to continue to operate its seed library.  The bill passed out of the House Agriculture Policy Committee last week. The Senate version of the bill will be taken up in committee this week.  It is expected to contain a similar provision.

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates

MN Legislative Update 2015-03-17

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

State Budget: Today Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget recommendations. The single largest item is $235 million for universal preschool for all 4 year olds. The budget also includes $142 million for a tuition freeze for MnSCU and $32,600 for a tuition freeze for the U of M. Here is a link to the budget document.

The House Ways and Means Committee will adopt budget targets on Tuesday, March 24. The Senate will release its budget targets by Friday, March 27.

House Omnibus Education Policy Bill (HF 1591): The House omnibus education policy bill was released last night and heard in committee this morning. It includes the repeal of the requirement that districts have a technology plan on file with MDE in order to be eligible for Telecommunications Equity Aid. It also requires that the governing board of a regional library system employ a chief administrative officer who is compensated by no more than one regional library system. This is a modified version of the provision in the MDE policy bill requiring that the governing board of a regional library system employ a full-time chief administrative officer. On Thursday the House Education Innovation Policy Committee will consider amendments to the bill before passing it out of committee.

Senate Omnibus Education Policy Bill (SF 1495): The Senate omnibus education policy bill was released this afternoon. It includes the repeal of the requirement that districts have a technology plan on file with MDE in order to be eligible for Telecommunications Equity Aid. On Thursday the Senate Education Committee will consider amendments to the bill before passing it out of committee.

House Legacy Hearing: On Monday, March 23 the House Legacy Committee will hear our request to increase funding for the regional public library systems. Ann Hutton and Melinda Ludwiczak will testify. The hearing starts at 12:45 pm in the Basement Hearing Room of the State Office Building.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

MN Legislative Update 2015-03-16

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

MDE Education Policy Bill: Last week the MDE education policy bill, HF 1591/SF 1495, was heard in committee in both bodies. The bill includes two provisions of interest. The first repeals the requirement that school districts have a technology plan on file with MDE in order to be eligible for telecommunications equity aid. The second requires that the governing board of a regional public library system employ a full-time chief administrative officer.

Parental Review of School Library Media Center Materials: A bill was introduced in both bodies last week that would expand an existing law requiring school districts to have a procedure for parents to review the content of instructional materials and to arrange alternative instruction if the parent objects to the content. The bill specifies that this applies to instructional materials in a classroom, school library or media center. It also requires that when a parent objects to the content because he or she considers it to be sexually explicit or obscene, the district must notify the parents of all students who are being provided that content that a parent has objected to it on that basis. The name of the parent making the objection would be private data.

HF 1648/SF 1449 was introduced in the House by Rep. Abigail Whelan (R – Anoka) and it has many co-authors, all Republican. It was introduced in the Senate by Senator Dan Hall (R – Burnsville). All co-authors are Republicans. The bill will not receive a hearing this session.

Regional Library Basic System Support (RLBSS): Last week a bill was introduced to change the RLBSS formula by increasing base portion from 5% to 15% of the distribution and reducing the equalization portion of the formula from 25% to 15% of the distribution. The bill also increases funding for RLBSS by $5 million per year.

  • The House version, HF 1626, was introduced by Rep. Sondra Erickson (R – Princeton). Co-authors are Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL – Hermantown), Rep. Greg Davids (R – Preston), Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL – Dilworth), Rep. Bud Nornes – R – Fergus Falls) and 10 others.
  • The Senate version, SF 1675 was introduced by Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL – Plummer). Co-authors are Senator Tom Saxhaug (DFL – Grand Rapids), Senator Gary Dahms (R – Redwood Falls) and Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL – Owatonna).

Coming Up this Week: The House Education Innovation Policy Committee and the Senate Education Committee will each release their respective omnibus education policy bills this week, hear the bills and pass them out of committee by the end of the week in order to meet the first committee deadline, which is Friday, March 20.

Governor Dayton will release his supplemental budget proposal this week. He has already announced that it will include more funding for universal preschool for 4 year olds, more funding for the MnSCU system and more funding for nursing homes.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

MN Legislative Update 2015-03-09

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

Library Legislative Day: Thank you to everyone who turned out for Library Legislative Day last week in spite of the snowstorm. The feedback from meetings that attendees had with their legislators was very positive.

Seed Library: SF 949, a bill providing an exemption from current seed regulations so that the Duluth Public Library can continue to operate its seed library was heard on Wednesday, March 4 in the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. Carla Powers, director of the Duluth Public Library, testified in favor of the bill. Minnesota Department of Agriculture supports the bill. It was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus agriculture policy bill.

Data Privacy: SF 337, a bill to conform Minnesota’s data privacy law regarding student records to recent changes in the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) passed the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 62-0. The bill was initiated by the St. Paul Public Schools to enable them to share student addresses with the St. Paul Public Library so that every student can be issued a library card at school. Without this legislation, the school district could only share student addresses with the public library if the district classified the addresses as public information. The House companion, HF 424, was passed by the House Education Innovation Policy Committee and was re-referred to the House Civil Law and Data Practices Committee.

School Technology Hearing: On Wednesday, March 11 the House Education Finance Committee will hear a presentation on school technology organized by the Minnesota School Boards Association, similar to the one heard by the Senate E-12 Budget Division on January 20. Three bills are also listed on the agenda to be heard on an informational basis. All three are authored by Rep. Drew Christensen:

  • HF 838 increases funding for Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) by $6 million per year. Note: This committee has already heard HF 583, which increases funding for both TEA and Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA).
  • HF 856 establishes special technology revenue, which can be used for the purchase or lease of telecommunications equipment, computers and related hardware and software, assistive technology and new and replacement library media resources or technology.
  • HF 854 increases total operating capital revenue and reserves the increase for the same purposes listed in HF 856 (see above) as well as for the purchase of electronic textbooks.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates

Construction Grants for 2016 Session

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallSenator Stumpf, chair of the Senate Capital Investment Committee, is encouraging the library community to introduce a bill yet this session to fund Library Construction Grants.  While this will not be an actual topic of discussion until the 2016 legislative session, it will put the potential of future library construction on the Senate committee’s radar as they plan fall tours of bonding project communities.  Usually the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) would begin discussing the size of a library request at the summer Library Legislative Forum.  However, if a bill is introduced this session, a proposed dollar amount will be needed.

The history of MLA request for construction and remodeling has varied.  In 2012, MLA requested $10 million.  Last session MLA asked for $3 million and the legislature appropriated $2 million for Library Construction Grants.  Of this amount, $877,000 was set aside for three specific libraries, leaving $1,123,000 for the competitive grant pool.  The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) received five applications requesting a total of $1,851,225.  Requests exceeded the funds available by $728,225.

SELCO’s MN Loves Libraries Campaign

SELCO MN Loves Libraries logo 2015The Minnesota Loves Libraries Campaign is a grassroots advocacy drive set to run in SELCO libraries during the first few weeks of February. Capitalizing on I Love to Read month and serving as a precursor to the 2015 Minnesota Library Legislative Day, this simple “mail-in” postcard campaign will help local libraries collect those great “Why I Love My Library” stories and pass them along to state legislators on the March 3rd (Library Legislative Day). Click HERE to read the FAQs and to find all relevant materials.

Library Legislative Day on March 3

Minnesota Capitol in winterRegions around the state are organizing delegations of librarians, library staff,  trustees and library Friends to visit their legislators on March 3 for the annual Minnesota Library Legislative Day. This is a chance to tell legislators about the importance of libraries and explain the important issues libraries face.

Despite construction within the Capital, teams of academic, school, public, and special library representatives will talk about how libraries are important to all Minnesotans and how libraries work together to enhance access to information and resources for personal, professional, and lifelong learning purposes.

Review the MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform

Register for Minnesota Library Legislative Day

MN High Tech Association supports increased bandwidth for libraries

Vote for Libraries buttonMargaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, has prepared a detailed letter for Commissioner Brenda Cassellius of the Minnesota Department of Education. In the letter, Ms. Anderson Kelliher addresses the importance of adequate broadband connectivity in Minnesota’s libraries and schools. Ms. Anderson Kelliher urges Commissioner Casselius to support increased State funding for the Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) and Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) programs. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the President of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

2014 Legislative Changes Impacting Libraries

State Librarian Jen Nelson shares an update on the laws passed in the recently adjourned 2014 legislative session that impact libraries.

Omnibus Capital Investment – Library Construction Grants
A $2 million appropriation will support library construction grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.45. The law also clarifies that renovation projects may include remediation of conditions hazardous to health or safety. Of the total appropriation, specific funds were allocated for grants to three cities for library projects: $570,000 to the city of Jackson, $257,000 to the city of Perham and $50,000 to the city of Bagley. State Library Services is in the midst of streamlining and revising the Library Construction Grant application process, and anticipates announcing the timeline for a competitive grant ground in June.

Education Policy – Regional Library Telecommunications Aid
Article 7 Section 1 amends Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355 Subdivision 8 to allow for exceptions to the minimum open hours requirement for regional library telecommunications aid. Applicants may now request exceptions to the open 20 hour per week requirement for short-term closings for emergency maintenance and repairs following a natural disaster, in response to exceptional economic circumstances, building repairs or maintenance that requires public services areas to be closed or to adjust hours of public service to respond to documented seasonal use patterns. We anticipate that this change will streamline the application and reporting process and ensure that libraries have reliable access to necessary funds even when the unexpected happens. State Library Services will be adapting 2014 Regional Library Telecommunication Aid reporting documents to reflect the change, and work with aid recipients to ensure that the new provisions are well understood.

Education Policy – Libraries and Service Delivery
Article 7 Section 2 directs the commissioner of the Department of Education to consult with representatives from a number of library and governmental organizations on ‘options for changing current library procedures and library governance systems to increase collaboration between library systems, ensuring equitable and cost-effective access to library services statewide.’ In addition to access to physical services, the commissioner must consider how to increase access to emerging electronic services. This provision is effective  immediately and a report to the education policy and finance committees is due by February 1, 2015.

State Library Services will be reaching out over the next few weeks to identify people interested in serving on the task force. If you would like more information about the task force, or are interested in participating, please contact Jennifer Nelson, State Librarian, or Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner.

MDE Logo 2013

MN’s New Women’s Economic Security Act

Womens Economic Security Act logo300pxAt a Mother’s Day signing, Governor Mark Dayton made the Women’s Economic Security Act law in Minnesota.  The new law identifies nine employment areas designed to improve working conditions.  The hallmark of the bill is a new requirement that allows a parent up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and parenting leave at the birth or adoption of a child.  Minnesota is one of only a handful of states allowing this longer time frame.  The bill received bipartisan support in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.

Click here for a bill summary.

Click here for additional information.

ECRL Legislative Day Contingent

ECRL Leg Day group 2014ECRL Staff, Board Members, and Library Friends
Library Legislative Day, March 5, 2014

Back row: Karen Lee, Nancy Dunbar, Andrea Hermanson, Carolyn Avaire, Barbara Misselt-ECRL Director, Carol Goddard-ECRL Board Member, Patty Thompson, Vickie Sorn, Audrey Misiura-ECRL Board Member.

Middle row: Carla Lydon, Sarah Hawkins, Jeanne Coffey

Front: Dan Misiura Lee

MDE Legislative Update

The following message from Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry was shared with the Minnesota Library Association through its Legislative Chair, Jim Weikum at ALS. It describes MDE  technical and policy initiatives for the 2014 legislative session.

We submitted a technical proposal to amend Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355 Subd. 8, Regional Library Telecommunications Aid, to allow exceptions to the 20-hour per week eligibility requirement. Permitting exceptions for one-time, limited duration situations such as a building closure as a result of natural disaster, or to allow for adjustments to open hours in response to seasonal usage patterns fits with the intent of the legislation while allowing maximum eligibility.

A second technical proposal was submitted to clarify the formula for establishing the state-certified level of library support (maintenance of effort) for counties and cities that provide operating dollars for library services. Currently Minnesota Statutes, section 134.34 does not contain a cross reference to the statutory change made in 2011 through Minnesota Statutes, section 275.761. This creates a significant amount of confusion when communicating with stakeholders about the statutory requirements. Currently, someone reading the statutes has no way of knowing that the provisions of 134.34 have been superseded. While I understand that the library community is interested in pursuing a return to the prior formula, there is a need to ensure that statutes accurately reflect the current requirements.

Finally, we submitted a policy proposal to establish a task force on libraries and service delivery. MDE has had some great success in advancing and promoting issues using task forces. I want to make sure that we are highlighting the work of libraries, particularly in light of recent news articles questioning relevancy. With emerging issues that need to be addressed, such as e-books, a task force can be a catalyst for promoting ideas to work with multiple levels of governance and a positive step forward. There is great energy and enthusiasm within libraries and I would like to see that communicated to a wide audience.

I encourage you to contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any of these proposals. I appreciate any feedback you have to offer. Email Kevin McHenry, Assistant Commissioner, or call 651-582-8250.

MDE Logo 2013

2014 Legislative Day a Successful Blur

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallDespite cold temperatures and a yet another snowfall, more than 100 library advocates ventured to St. Paul for discussions with legislators.  The MLA Legislative Committee hosted briefings on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, March 5, which offered the latest details on bill numbers, hearings, and lobbying strategy.

Library advocates promoted the inclusion of public library accessibility and construction grants in the proposed bonding bill, supported increased funding to cover educational telecommunications costs, and encouraged the creation of a task force to explore possible remedies for unfair eBook pricing.  CRPLSA’s Advocacy page has links to the 2014 legislative platform and issue specific talking points.

eBook Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallThe library legislative platform supports an investigation in the wide variance of pricing for libraries compared to individual purchases, and the exploration of possible remedies to this uneven and discriminatory sales model.

Contract language, numerous pricing models, and variations by type of library abound.  To help library advocates wade through this information maze, the MLA Legislative Committee shared four documents that provide background information and may be used as legislative talking points.

  1. eBooks and Libraries (an FAQ)
  2. eBooks and School Libraries
  3. eBooks and Academic Libraries
  4. Pricing comparison prepared by Douglas County Library (Colorado, 2013)

Library Construction Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallToday’s libraries are a marvelous blend of brick and mortar, collection, and technology. The Minnesota Library Association and the Minnesota Educational Media Organization support the appropriation of $3 million dollars for the 2014-2016 biennium for the construction of public library buildings through the State’s currently authorized matching program.  A series of Talking Points have been prepared to assist library advocates.

Encourage your local legislators to support HF1501 / SF1473 as discussions about the 2014 bonding bill unfold.

Telecom Talking Points

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallCRPLSA director, Peg Werner, VLS, was instrumental in preparing the Broadband and Telecommunications Access for Schools and Libraries legislative talking points. The focus of this legislative initiative supports an increase of $6 million for the school Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) program, as well as ongoing funding of the current $2.3 million appropriation for  Regional Library Telecommunications Aid (RLTA) to ensure equitable access to broadband and Internet services. The talking points outline 10 specific services affected by the availability and the level of bandwidth, ranging from technology support for displaced workers to Internet-based audio and videoconferencing technology is used to connect educators, librarians, and peers across the globe.

More information about CRPLSA legislative initiatives may be found on the Advocacy page.

2014 Legislative Platform Available

Libraries Strengthen Minnesota logo smallWith the start of the 2014 Minnesota legislative session just weeks away, the 2014 MLA – MEMO Library Legislative Platform is available for review and distribution.  The library community will focus on three primary areas: public library construction, telecommunications, and eBooks. As bills are introduced, CRPLSA and MLA Legislative Chair Jim Weikum (ALS Director) will monitor the progress on these issues as well as other topics that may affect library operations and service.

Plans are underway for this year’s Library Day at the Capitol.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 5 and join library supporters from around the state in St. Paul.  More information will be available soon.