MLA News | Michigan Library Association

MDHHS Updates Gathering And Mask Order, in Effect March 5

March 2, 2021

Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gatherings and Mask Epidemic Order, allowing for increased capacity limits at various venues, larger residential and nonresidential gatherings.

Changes to the Gatherings and Mask Order go into effect Friday, March 5, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.

Capacity changes include:

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MLA 2021 Youth Literary Awards Top Titles 

February 26, 2021

We are excited to announce the top titles of the 2021 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards! Top Ten Title flyers, awards seals and award banners are available and free to use! Please use these resources at your library to help us promote MLA Youth Literary Awards and the amazing job our work groups do in selecting the very best books for youth! Read on for details. 

MLA Youth Literary Award work groups worked throughout the past year, spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and discussing hundreds of books to determine the top titles for youth published in 2020.

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MLA Statement in Opposition to SB22

February 25, 2021

A bill to amend 1893 PA 206 “The General Property Tax”
Introduced by Senator Runestad on January 13, 2021

On average, Michigan Libraries depend on locally dedicated millages for 77% of their funding and this number is increasing nearly 1% each year. At the same time, diminishing property values reduce tax revenues, and DDAs and TIFAs are constantly siphoning dedicated millages. While millages aren’t the sole source of revenues for libraries, none is more important. Everyone is familiar with how property taxes have declined in value and collection in recent years, which obviously has impacted the library's ability to sustain all its operations.

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MLA Members Meet With New Legislators

February 25, 2021

February has been a busy month of meet and greets with our freshman legislators. Approximately 30 new house members were elected last November, took office in January, and MLA has been busy ever since setting up 30-minute introductory Zoom meetings with each of them. The new legislators have been very open to our conversations and have expressed their sincere support for libraries throughout Michigan. 

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Letter from Debbie

February 25, 2021

With vaccines steadily being injected into the arms of those around us, there is real reason to celebrate and look at the jar as half-full rather than half-empty. Whew…what a year! Not that life will return to “normal” any time soon, but there is certainly new-found hope that we are turning a corner and will see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hearing from more and more of you that your physical doors are open, that you have a date for reopening, or are in your final preparations. Stay vigilant!

For the past few weeks, many of you (in fact about 35 to date) have stepped up to be a part of MLA’s meet and greets with our freshman legislators. It has been inspirational to hear your stories and we applaud you for getting through the worst days of the pandemic all the while continuing to innovate, expand and evolve your programming and services. We continue to hear that you are making progress on the challenges you prioritized in 2020 and plan for even more accomplishments in 2021 and beyond. The hardships and setbacks of the pandemic have shown how capable you are at achieving your goals. Stay vigilant!

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Governor Whitmer Releases Proposed FY22 Budget

February 11, 2021

Today, Governor Whitmer released her third executive budget, centered on equitably growing the state’s economy by expanding skills training and childcare for families, providing a further down payment on rebuilding the state’s crumbling bridges and water infrastructure, and helping small businesses recover from the pandemic. All combined, the full budget is just over $67 billion.

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Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Findings for FY21 and FY22

January 28, 2021

State economists including State Treasurer Rachel Eubanks, State Budget Director Dave Massaron, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Christopher Harkins, and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary, agreed to upgrade state revenue projections in response to data that shows the doom and gloom from the economic shutdowns enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be nearly as bad as originally feared. These projections* were presented at the January 15, 2021 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC).

When Michigan’s government finally closes the books on FY2020 (last year), it is projected to have a $2.5 billion surplus in the General Fund and a nearly $1.2 billion balance in the School Aid Fund. These numbers will be carried over into the current fiscal year. The combined $3.7 billion surplus is a complete turnaround to where state officials projected the budget's position to be last summer when Michigan was staring into a $2.2 billion hole for FY2020. The state economists stated that the federal government's help with unemployment payments, stimulus checks, and COVID-19 relief help for public health care, is a big driver for the change.

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