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Good News and Bad News for Michigan’s Budget

January 23, 2020

GOOD NEWS! While estimates set at the May 2019 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference predicted a very flat revenue scenario this year, some good news was presented to the legislative and executive branch by fiscal experts in early January. According to new estimates, Michigan expects to see an additional $235.2 million in General Fund revenue and $85.7 million more in School Aid Fund support for the current Fiscal Year 2020. For the upcoming budget, which begins October 1, 2020, officials are expecting additional revenues of $274 million in the General Fund and $138 million in the School Aid Fund for a combined $412 million in additional revenue.

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Michigan Library Privacy Act Update

January 23, 2020

First and foremost, we are grateful for all input that we have received from statewide librarians on SB611. The bill to amend 1982 PA 455, introduced by Senator MacGregor on October 29, was introduced without MLA input. MLA agrees that if these changes are to be implemented, it should be done when all voices (pro and con) have been heard, and all input has been taken into consideration. Through a very thorough vetting process beginning in November 2019, we believe that we have gained statewide and national insight into the support and the concerns that this update brings. The MLA Board will be voting on our position at the end of January, and we will communicate that with you quickly.

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Update on MLA’s Work to Address Changes to the Michigan Library Privacy Act

December 19, 2019

Since the introduction of SB611 by Senator Peter MacGregor on October 29, MLA has been gathering input from library directors, deans and others about support and concern on the proposed changes. MLA believes that library privacy is a core value to librarianship and any changes to the Privacy Act should be vetted through the proper channels. This bill was introduced without MLA input. MLA has taken the past 45 days to gather your thoughts and try to find a way to find compromises to the concerns that you’ve brought to our attention in order to get the best possible changes in front of Senator MacGregor by mid-January when it is expected to move forward in the legislative process. 

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Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN)

December 18, 2019

For the past five months, MLA has been involved in the formation of a new organization, the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN). This new initiative was started by the leaders of eight statewide cultural organizations, including the Michigan Library Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Museums Association, Michigan Presenters Network, Michigan Festivals and Events Association, Michigan Youth Arts, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and the Michigan Humanities. We are actively pursuing a number of other statewide cultural entities to join us as well.

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Legislation Amending Library Privacy Act Introduced in Senate

November 7, 2019

On October 29, State Senators Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) and Ruth Johnson (R-Holly) introduced Senate Bill 611. This bipartisan bill amends the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455, enabling libraries, if they choose, to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime, or a crime occurs at the library. Currently, libraries cannot release library records to law enforcement without a court order. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. 

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Macmillan CEO Responds to #ebooksforall Advocates in a Letter to Librarians

October 29, 2019

Macmillan Publishers CEO, John Sargent has issued a letter in response to #ebooksforall advocates. Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publisher's eBook embargo will go into effect. The new Macmillan lending policy will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. Advocates have been signing the #ebooksforall petition and contacting Macmillan's CEO to urge Macmillan to abandon this new lending model. On Tuesday, October 29, Macmillan issued a response in a "Letter to Librarians" from CEO John Sargent. Stay tuned for more news on #ebooksforall advocacy. Read the full text of the letter here:

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ALA Denounces Amazon, Macmillan in Response to Congressional Inquiry on Competition in Digital Markets

October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Current practices by content publishers and distributors in digital markets limit libraries’ ability to deliver core services, according to a new report publicly released today by the American Library Association (ALA). Submitted in response to an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, ALA’s report underscores practices by companies like Amazon and Macmillan Publishers that threaten Americans’ right to read what and how they choose and imperil other fundamental First Amendment freedoms. The report urges lawmakers to curb anti-competitive practices of digital market actors. Download the Digital Markets Report

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State Aid and the Library of Michigan Budget

October 23, 2019

The Governor and the state legislature kept us in suspense about the state budget right down to the deadline – with all being finally adopted on October 1, 2019.  We all breathed a sigh of relief that state aid for libraries and the Library of Michigan budget were generally status quo from the year prior. In a tumultuous environment and budget cycle like FY20, we are thankful that state aid was not touched. Members…rest assured that MLA was watching carefully and ready to react in an instant if anything would have affected the state aid that libraries rely on.  Long-held relationships and daily dialog with leaders in the House and Senate went a long way in protecting these funds. 

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Free Narcan Prescription for Public Libraries

August 22, 2019

Pictured left to right: Larry Neal, Director, Clinton-Macomb Public Library; Kristin Shelley, Director, East Lansing Public Library; Bob DeVries, GCSI; Debbie Mikula, Executive Director, Michigan Library Association; Governor Gretchen Whitmer; Audrey Wojno; Senator Paul Wojno; Connie Platte and Bill Drake, Senator Wojno staff members. Front and center: Abby DeVries.

We are still celebrating the huge victory for our libraries and librarians with the passage of the Narcan bill package this past June. This new legislation provides liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron. Recently, Governor Whitmer invited MLA and others to a ceremonial bill signing. MLA’s advocacy efforts have again been recognized with this signed, sealed and delivered legislation. But it doesn’t stop there.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Narcan Bills Into Law

June 27, 2019

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 1:41 p.m. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Narcan bill package into law, with immediate effect. These bills will provide liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron. This is a huge victory for our libraries and librarians.

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MLA Advocacy - May 23, 2019

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Senate Passes Narcan Bills

Senate Bills 200, 282 and 283 passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday morning. These bills are tie-barred to House Bill 4367, which would provide liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron. In March, the Michigan House of Representatives passed HB 4366 and 4367 on a 106 to 0 vote. These original bills were amended by senators to expand the reach to limit liability for additional municipalities and entities along with libraries.

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