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State of Michigan Budget Updates

September 23, 2021

Last week, legislative leadership and Governor Whitmer’s administration issued a joint announcement that a budget deal had been finalized for the FY22 state budget.  On Tuesday, Sept. 21, legislative leaders moved a massive $50 billion spending plan out of a joint House-Senate conference committee that has shaped the FY22 general government omnibus budget.  On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the House and Senate, in separate votes,  gave quick approval to the spending plan. The Governor has indicated she will sign it in time for it to take effect for the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Linked here is the summary of the General Omnibus Conference Report which outlines the updates and changes to the General Fund: https://www.house.mi.gov/hfa/PDF/Summaries/21s82s3cr1_General_Omnibus_Conference_Report.pdf

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State of Michigan Budget Updates

July 22, 2021

With summer recess in full swing, work on the state of Michigan’s general fund budget continues. The Senate also voted to push back the state’s budget deadline for this year to September 1 (from July 1) so we continue to hope for an increase in state aid to libraries. The Governor’s and House version of the budget called for a flat budget for state aid. The Senate version called for a $2M increase. Our hope is that the Senate version will be adopted (of course!) and we will continue to advocate for this increase when legislators return to work.

While we wait for consensus-building on the general fund budget, Governor Whitmer has already signed into law the School Aid budget. In early July, House Bill 4411 marked a historical moment for the state by reaching the goal of eliminating the funding gap between districts at the minimum and maximum foundation allowances, as set forth by Proposal A of 1994. The bill finalizes the fiscal year 2022 School Aid budget, which totals $17.1 billion including $85.4 million from the state’s general fund and provides cost adjustments and supplemental funding for the current 2021 year. 

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MLA Opposes House Bill 4536

June 24, 2021

House Bills 4535 and 4536 were recently introduced by Rep. Ken Borton, R-Gaylord. House Bill 4535 (HB 4535) would prohibit wheeled vehicles from driving on snowmobile trails between December 1 and April 1. House Bill 4536 (HB 4536) would direct the fines from these violations to be deposited into an account for the further maintenance of the snowmobile trails.

On Thursday, June 17, both bills passed out of the Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation on a unanimous vote, despite MLA testimony in opposition.

Penal and civil fines, which are variable across each of our counties, along with state aid to libraries, are the only legislatively directed sources of revenue for libraries. Between 2016 and 2020, in counties in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula where snowmobiling is most prevalent, per capita penal fine rates have dropped by as much as 100% (Arenac, Bay, Kalkaska, Montmorency, Schoolcraft) with a median loss of 26.6%.

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2021-2022 Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey Results

June 23, 2021

Thank you to those that provided their input to MLA’s Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey for 2021-2022. The Michigan Library Association has made advocacy one of its highest priorities. It has never been more important for librarians, staff members, trustees, and others with a vested interest in their libraries, to convey and address their challenges and successes. Meeting the challenges in 2021-2022 and, more importantly, making real progress for Michigan’s libraries in the long term requires fresh approaches and a proactive agenda. 

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Call to Action: Please Call Your Senator Today - Libraries Need Three Election Dates

June 23, 2021

House Bill 4530 and Senate Bill 130 would amend different acts to remove the May regular election date and move the date of the primary election in Michigan from August to June, limiting a jurisdiction to holding only two elections in a year.

The bills will be discussed at the Senate Committee on Elections meeting today at 2:00 PM. Our Senators need to hear from us about why it is important to keep three election dates to allow libraries more flexibility in seeking millages. Please contact your Senator before 2:00 PM today to tell them that libraries need three millage election dates. Ask them to oppose HB 4530 and SB 130 and ANY legislation that limits election dates and hurts a library's ability to seek funding.

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