Executive Director's Desk - July, 2015

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New MLA Professional Development Coming in 2016

Librarians attending MLA work group development in East Lansing last month got started on some exciting new educational programs. Many changes are in store. Look for innovative daylong workshops and some new half day events as well. In addition, applications for the 2016 leadership academy will open soon. Our MLA president Leslie Warren was able to make an appearance at the event via video. MLA is working on some technology options for connecting and learning to add more options.

Registration is open for MLA 2015 in Novi. A new Executive Exchange session exclusively for library deans and directors will provide a chance to address those library issues that keep library leaders up at night. You’ll have a chance to talk with others who understand the challenges of running a library. You will soon see a short survey from the Executive Summit (formerly Directors Summit) workgroup asking for suggestions on those specific issues.

This year as you are making your professional development plan, remember to review the MLA scholarship opportunities. Workshops, Academic Libraries Conference, Spring Institute and Leadership Academy all have scholarships available. Visit our scholarship page on the website for more details.

Governor signs Zorn bill allowing schools to form district libraries

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn that would allow a school district to establish a district library was signed into law last week. Senate Bill 108, which is now Public Act 108 of 2015, removes a provision within existing law that has prohibited local governments, including school districts, from forming new district libraries since Jan. 1. SB 108 was approved unanimously by the Senate in March and by a vote of 109-1 in the Michigan House of Representatives earlier in June.

Thank you MLA members for your work on this legislation.

Senate Passes Road Package:

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley cast tie-breaking votes on bills that would raise fuel taxes to 34 cents per gallon over the next two years. Supporters hope the measures will ultimately raise $1.4 billion for roads. The plan generates roughly half of the proposed increase in revenue from a higher gas tax and half of the money from unspecified General Fund budget cuts. That’s $700 million in new revenue (15% gas tax increase) and the other $700 million for roads from Income Tax Revenue currently flowing to the General Fund.  The Appropriations Committee will determine $700 million in General Fund Cuts.

Additional components:

  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles increase in fees (includes trucks)
  • Warrantees for roads
  • There will be an income tax cut if growth on revenue exceeds CPI
  • Unclear at this time if the new money would go through Act 51 or into the bottom three buckets (State, County and Local road agencies)

The Senate plan also calls for a reduction in the state's personal income tax in any year that general fund revenue growth exceeds inflation. A controversial bill to eliminate the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit was not included in the package.

The eight bills associated with road funding --  SB 0414HB 4610HB 4611HB 4612HB 4613HB 4614HB 4615 and  HB 4616 -- were passed through the Senate.
 

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