Advocacy Update - News | Michigan Library Association

MLA Advocacy Update

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MLA Advocacy - October 25, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

All eyes are on the November 6 election. Even the pundits aren't predicting winners and losers. In part, that's because political polling has become unreliable. In the past, a telephone poll of 700 voters would garner more than 500 results. Now a poll might get a handful of folks to answer questions. As a result, pollsters are increasingly in the dark about what to expect on election day.

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MLA Advocacy - September 27, 2018

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Lame Duck Session Officially Starts After Elections

We'll be watching closely for any legislation that could impact library funding. After the November elections Michigan's lame duck session could bring unexpected and unwelcome surprises.

In politics, a lame duck is an elected official whose successor has already been elected. That will encompass all of Michigan's political leadership from the Governor to both legislative chambers. This means lawmakers are free to make decisions with little fear of consequence. Lame duck politicians result from term limits, planned retirement, or electoral losses. We will be reminding these legislators of the importance of continued library support throughout this session.

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MLA Advocacy - August 23, 2018

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What is advocacy? The MLA Leadership Academy recently had a presentation from former state representative Barb Farrah who is now with our lobby firm GCSI. We try to emphasize the importance of connecting with local and state elected officials when we're educating our next generation of library leaders. Barb talked about the importance of building relationships early with newly elected officials. Don't wait until January. Once elections are over in November, invite those newly elected lawmakers to your library for a tour, coffee hour, or any community event. You can even host a candidate forum prior to the election as long as you invite all known candidates to participate. We need to practice advocacy every day in our libraries, in our communities and in our personal lives.

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MLA Advocacy - July 26, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol DomeHealth Insurance News

Our insurance partner National Insurance Services (NIS) has completed our applications and contacted a number of health insurance companies for proposals for our MLA group health/Rx, dental and vision insurance consortium.

The deadline for responses from these companies is set for August 10. As soon as we have that information we will immediately make it available to you. Thanks for your patience.

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MLA Advocacy - June 28, 2018

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State Aid to Libraries up for FY 2019

The FY 2019 State of Michigan budget went to the governor's desk with a $1 million boost in funding for libraries in the state aid to libraries line item. MLA credits our library champions in the Senate, Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) and Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) for their unwavering support of libraries. Their work on behalf of Michigan libraries is the reason we are seeing another million dollar increase for the third time in three years. In MLA's conversations with the two senators, they have made it clear they would like to see libraries continue to move upward toward previous funding levels. This is great news as we work to gradually rebuild this funding source.

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MLA Advocacy - May 24, 2018

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House Bill 5090 Reduces Library Funding

Thank you to everyone who contacted their Senators regarding HB 5090. There have been nearly 300 responses to our request urging your Senator to talk with Sen. Tom Casperson, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. After a meeting with the Senator's office today, we learned the bill will not move until the fall. The Senator has agreed to work with us to help address our concerns and MLA will testify at the committee hearing next week.

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Contact your Senator TODAY to Save Library Penal Fines

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House Bill 5090 must be stopped. House Bill 5090 changes how fines from weigh stations are distributed. Under the proposed legislation, failure to stop at a weigh station would be changed from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction and exempt certain vehicles. This means a reduction in penal fines to libraries since civil infraction penalties are lower than misdemeanor penalties.

This bill moved through the House without recognition of an analysis that found that it will reduce library funding.

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MLA Advocacy - April 26, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol DomeOn Tuesday, the Senate Health Policy Committee took testimony on SB 828 and 829, which would provide liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron.

Kristin Shelley, MLA Legislative Committee Chair and MLA President-elect gave an excellent overview of why the bills are needed. She also provided a heart wrenching story of a death that occurred at a library where she worked years ago. The committee heard first hand how a life might have been saved if naloxone had been available then.

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MLA Advocacy - March 22, 2018

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Michigan voters in November will elect a new governor, secretary of state, attorney general, Michigan supreme court justices, and both state and federal senators and representatives. This means that elected officials as well as candidates will spend considerable time campaigning throughout the next eight months. When the final weeks of lame duck session roll around we will be watching closely for any legislation impacting our libraries.

A number of ballot proposals will be decided in November as well. Here is a detailed outline of the proposal process and the questions we should expect to see this fall. This document is provided by MLA lobby firm GCSI.

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MLA Advocacy - February 22, 2018

The Budget Process BeginsInterior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Governor Rick Snyder proposed his 2019 budget. Library funding remains pretty much unchanged from 2018. This is step one in the budget process. Both the House and Senate will make their own recommendations. Any differences between the chambers are decided in conference committee. The proposed budget then heads back to the governor for his signature.

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Library Protection for Narcan Use

Senate Bills 828 and 829 were introduced today by Senator Rick Jones and Senator Margaret O’Brien. MLA worked with the Library of Michigan and Michigan Department of Education to help craft this legislation providing libraries with protection from civil and criminal liability when administering life-saving Narcan in the result of an opioid drug overdose at the library. Currently Good Samaritan laws protect individuals from prosecution but as governmental entities libraries could technically be held liable if something went wrong. Our goal is to have libraries treated much like school districts. We appreciate the Senators’ support of this important life-saving legislation.

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