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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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