News - Advocacy
Thursday, December 22, 2016 12:00 AM

MLA Advocacy - December 22, 2016

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Tax Capture Relief Bills Enrolled and Waiting Presentation to the Governor for Signature

Our efforts to exempt libraries from tax capture have been ongoing for many years. This past year we have made tremendous progress with both the House and Senate passing legislation exempting libraries from a number of tax captures. It is through the outstanding efforts of hundreds of MLA members and dedicated librarians, your Michigan Library Association and the GCSI lobbying team that we were able to move this far toward a goal this organization has been working on for more than two decades.

This is a show of support for the importance of libraries in the state legislature. It is also a step toward taxpayer accountability, tax capture transparency and respect for the voter’s choice.

SB 619-624 are currently enrolled but they have not yet been presented to the Governor. Once presented, the Governor has 14 days to sign the bills. Watch for an MLA advocacy alert as soon as the bills are signed or check the MLA website

This progress is also due in large part to the efforts of many librarians across the state who engage with their elected officials on a regular basis. If you have a new representative taking office in January, reach out today and invite them into your library. Show them what you provide to your community.

Once again thank you to everyone who answered our call to action and contacted their elected officials.

This year MLA celebrated 125 years helping libraries and library professionals succeed. From early beginnings, a handful of insightful and forward-thinking librarians understood the need for an organization that could provide the professional development, advocacy and comradery needed to grow the profession and MLA was formed.

As we wind down our anniversary year, I’d like to share some thoughts on the year-end review from the 2002-2003 MLA Public Policy Committee. It was the committee’s first year and was chaired by retiring Chesterfield Township library director Midge Lusardi. Midge was the very vocal and very capable chair of the committee that year. Among their suggestions was a recommendation to issue a proposal for political consulting services. The group understood the importance of lobbying for libraries’ interests stating: “We believe that growing a strong, unified advocacy organization throughout the state will positively affect legislative issues impacting libraries.” It was from those beginnings the board approved hiring a lobbyist. MLA leadership understood that a professional staff and dedicated advocacy presence was crucial if the libraries’ voice was to be heard in Lansing.

It has been our pleasure this year to serve as your MLA staff. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the important work you do. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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