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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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Call to Action: Libraries Need Three Election Dates

June 21, 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.

Libraries rely on locally dedicated millages for funding. A millage loss could very well close the doors permanently for a library, so alternative dates to re-present their proposal to their community during the calendar year are essential. Additional restrictions to the number of times each year that a millage can be brought before voters are detrimental to libraries. Read MLA's Statement in Opposition to Any Restrictions to Millage Dates by the Michigan Legislature.

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Intellectual Freedom Is Being Challenged Across the Country

May 27, 2021

In the Michigan Library Association’s current strategic plan, we state: “We believe in equal and free access to information and knowledge, while protecting an individual’s right to privacy.” Intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession and a basic right in our democratic society. Our guiding principle expresses the importance of protecting the rights of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment.  

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Updates to MIOSHA Emergency Rules and MDHHS Order

May 24, 2021

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced updates to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) COVID-19 emergency rules as many employers return to in-person work. Changes to the rules include:

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Call to Action: MLA Opposes HB 4530-4533, Please Contact Your Senator Today!

April 29, 2021

On April 27, HB’s 4530-4533 were presented and passed in the Michigan House of Representatives. This package of bills eliminates the May and August elections and replaces them with a June election. Click the links to see who voted in support and who opposed. HB 4530 Passed 63 to 46, HB 4531 passed 67 to 42, HB 4532 passed 65 to 44, and HB 4533 passed 65 to 44.

House Bills 4530-4533 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.

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Call to Action: MLA Opposes HB 4530-4533

Call to Action: MLA stands in Opposition to HB 4530-4533 and ANY Legislation Limiting Election Dates.

March 25, 2021

On Tuesday, March 23, a package of bills, HB4530-4533 was presented at the House Elections and Ethics Committee. HB4530-4533 eliminates the May and August elections and replaces them with a June election.

House Bills 4530-4533 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.

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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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