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Thursday, March 24, 2022 12:00 AM

Open Meetings Act Update

In late January, Representative John Damoose (District 107) introduced House Bill 5689 which will update Section 3a (MCL 15.263a) as amended by 2021 PA 54 of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) to allow cooperative library boards and local library boards to meet virtually if they choose. The bill was referred to the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee. 

There is a political reality to the passage of this legislation. It should be noted that there have been a number of proposed revisions introduced to the OMA during the past year. None have moved past the introduction since mid-2021 with the political divisions we now see. (Some of these bills are documented in the MLA Bill Tracker on the MLA website.)

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Friday, March 18, 2022 12:00 AM

New Chair of Intellectual Freedom Task Force

On Friday, March 18, the MLA Board of Directors appointed Dillon Geshel to serve as the Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force to replace outgoing Chair, Jasmine Parker.

The Intellectual Freedom Task Force serves as a subgroup and coordinates with the Advocacy and Legislative Committee on establishing progressive priorities relating to library collections, censorship and privacy. The purpose of the task force is to support MLA in safeguarding intellectual freedom and first amendment rights, proactively educate and inform the library field of legislation related to intellectual freedom, develop a position and response by MLA in instances of controversy over censorship, and encourage Michigan libraries to develop policies that will support free speech and the freedom to read.

 
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Wednesday, February 09, 2022 01:12 PM

Governor Whitmer's Fiscal Year 2023 Proposed Budget

Today, Governor Whitmer introduced her FY23 proposed budget with a $74.1 billion spending plan, the largest in state history. The Governor’s priorities for FY23 are laid out specifically on page 3 of the budget presentation document and the Budget Stabilization Fund – “Rainy Day Fund” has increased by $51.8 million bringing the total fund to $1.5 billion.

Even with increases in revenue, the Governor’s General Fund budget, which totals $14.3 billion, remains flat for Library State Aid at $15,067,700 but also continues to include $800,000 for a Library Pilot project for school and public library collaboration. (See pages 79 and 80 in the FY23 General Omnibus Budget). Other line items for the Library of Michigan take into account slight salary and program increases from FY22 for MeL and other library operations. 

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Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

2022 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference

In mid-January, state budget officials met at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference. "Higher than anticipated growth in income tax and sales tax revenues means the state probably has about $600 million a year in ongoing general fund revenues beyond what it anticipated earlier," stated Budget Director Christopher Harkins.

The state has $5.8 billion in anticipated surplus state revenues and about $15 billion in still unspent federal stimulus and infrastructure funds that it can spend over the next several years. Much of this is for “one-time expenditures” and not to begin new programs or to sustain programs already a part of state government.  

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Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

GCSI Redistricting Analysis

In late December, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission completed their work and voted to adopt new district lines for Michigan’s Congressional, State Senate, and State House. These districts are a dramatic departure from the current seats and will change the landscape for the 2022 election.

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