Advocacy Update - News | Michigan Library Association

MLA Advocacy Update

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MLA Advocacy - April 26, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol DomeOn Tuesday, the Senate Health Policy Committee took testimony on SB 828 and 829, which would provide liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron.

Kristin Shelley, MLA Legislative Committee Chair and MLA President-elect gave an excellent overview of why the bills are needed. She also provided a heart wrenching story of a death that occurred at a library where she worked years ago. The committee heard first hand how a life might have been saved if naloxone had been available then.

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MLA Advocacy - March 22, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Michigan voters in November will elect a new governor, secretary of state, attorney general, Michigan supreme court justices, and both state and federal senators and representatives. This means that elected officials as well as candidates will spend considerable time campaigning throughout the next eight months. When the final weeks of lame duck session roll around we will be watching closely for any legislation impacting our libraries.

A number of ballot proposals will be decided in November as well. Here is a detailed outline of the proposal process and the questions we should expect to see this fall. This document is provided by MLA lobby firm GCSI.

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MLA Advocacy - February 22, 2018

The Budget Process BeginsInterior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Governor Rick Snyder proposed his 2019 budget. Library funding remains pretty much unchanged from 2018. This is step one in the budget process. Both the House and Senate will make their own recommendations. Any differences between the chambers are decided in conference committee. The proposed budget then heads back to the governor for his signature.

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Library Protection for Narcan Use

Senate Bills 828 and 829 were introduced today by Senator Rick Jones and Senator Margaret O’Brien. MLA worked with the Library of Michigan and Michigan Department of Education to help craft this legislation providing libraries with protection from civil and criminal liability when administering life-saving Narcan in the result of an opioid drug overdose at the library. Currently Good Samaritan laws protect individuals from prosecution but as governmental entities libraries could technically be held liable if something went wrong. Our goal is to have libraries treated much like school districts. We appreciate the Senators’ support of this important life-saving legislation.

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MLA Advocacy - January 25, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Net Neutrality Fight is Far From Over

The FCC voted to gut the net neutrality protections that limit the power of Internet Service Providers - like Verizon and Comcast - to slow websites, block mobile apps, or in any way control the information we access. This 3-2 vote to roll back strong, enforceable net neutrality protections was made amid widespread protests, millions of public comments and overwhelming opposition from across the political spectrum.

Modern libraries rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. Strong, enforceable net neutrality rules, like the ones Chairman Pai just rushed to dismantle, are critical to keeping the internet working the way it does now.

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MLA Advocacy - November 30, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Net Neutrality Rules Impact Us All

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must enable access to all legal content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites. Strong, enforceable rules are critical to the functioning of modern libraries because we rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. Libraries and our patrons cannot afford to be relegated to "slow lanes" on the internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai publicly shared his plan to dismantle network neutrality protections approved by the FCC in 2015 and affirmed by the federal appeals court in 2016.

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MLA Advocacy - October 26, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

NIS Insurance Start Date Pushed Back to February 2018 Due to Executive Order

President Trump's recent executive order targeting the Affordable Care Act has prompted some adjustments in the product offerings by the National Insurance Services (NIS) partnership with MLA. The group will now develop a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) as part of their program. This change will ensure that any libraries who wish to join the program after the initial startup will be able to do so without requiring that the entire group and its rates be re-evaluated. We sincerely regret the delay in getting the program underway. This response to the President's order is necessary to ensure a reliable and useful insurance product for our members. If renewal with your current carrier is due prior to February 1, 2018, it is recommended that you renew and NIS will follow up with you to help determine the best time to transfer to NIS.

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MLA Advocacy - September 28, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Libraries See Reduction in Penal Fines

Many libraries are reporting a significant reduction in their penal fines. MLA has initiated a survey to help gather data on the trend. Information obtained from the Michigan State Police indicates that the decrease in the library fine revenue is a product of fewer citations being written. Apparently the MSP has been looking into the situation. They report a reduction in the total number of police officers, so departments with the ability to dedicate officers to traffic enforcement is reduced. Additionally, MSP attributes the decline to their working heavily in the Secure Cities Partnership, which is mostly disadvantaged communities. They indicate they are there for a larger purpose of reducing violent crime, and increasing community engagement so they don't emphasize writing citations in these areas.

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MLA Advocacy - August 24, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Who needs advocacy?

An even more compelling question: Whose responsibility is advocacy? The simple answer to both questions is everyone. It gets a little more complicated when we try to sift down to our day to day lives, embrace the fact that we need to practice advocacy every day in our libraries, in our communities and in our personal lives and then try to determine how best to achieve it.

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MLA Advocacy - July 27, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

State Aid to Libraries up for FY 2018

The FY 2018 State of Michigan budget went to the governor's desk with a $1,191,700.13 boost in funding for libraries in the state aid to libraries line item. This is great news as we work to gradually rebuild this funding source. Our Senators Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) and Jim Stamas (R- Midland) worked hard to keep that additional funding in the budget.

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MLA Advocacy - June 22, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

State Aid to Libraries is slated to see a $1.2 million increase for fiscal year 2018

MLA credits our library champions in the Senate, Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) and Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) for their unwavering support of libraries. Their work on behalf of Michigan libraries is the reason we are seeing more than a million dollar increase for the second time in three years. In MLA's conversations with the two senators, they have made it clear they would like to see libraries continue to move upward toward previous funding levels. Both the governor and the House proposed a flat 2018 budget and the Senate proposal asked for nearly $3 million in additional library funding. The conference committee agreed on the $1,191,700 which brings the total state aid to libraries to $11,067,700. This represents a 12% increase and per capita payment of about $0.36.

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