Advocacy Update - News | Michigan Library Association

MLA Advocacy Update

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MLA Advocacy - September 28, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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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MLA Advocacy - May 25, 2017

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MPSERS Debate Continues

Folks in Lansing are focused on passing a state budget. However, disagreement over two bills HB 4647 and SB 401seem to be holding up the process. The legislation replaces the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System or MPSERS hybrid system . According to a MIRS report, the new 401(k) would mirror the current plan for state employees, which is an automatic employer contribution of 4 percent of the employees' salary plus a 100 percent matching contribution up to 3 percent for a total of 10 percent. The House Fiscal Agency projects this sweetened 401(k) and paying the upfront costs connected with the unfunded liability would cost $21.7 billion over 40 years.

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MLA Advocacy - April 27, 2017

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Why More Tax Capture Bills?

For more than two decades MLA has been fighting for libraries' relief from tax capture. Since 2013, it has been one of the pressing issues for MLA advocacy efforts and for the past 17 months we have been working tirelessly on developing and passing legislation to address this problem. In January, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law SB 619-624 now PA 505-510 providing for specially dedicated library millages to be exempt from a number of tax captures.

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MLA Advocacy - March 23, 2017

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IMLS Funding Impacts Michigan Libraries

The president's proposed budget includes the elimination of $210 million in federal funding that will directly impact the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes the funds to every state in the country including Michigan. IMLS provides funds through the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grants to state programs.

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MLA Advocacy -February 23, 2017

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The Budget Process Begins

Two weeks ago Governor Rick Snyder proposed his 2018 budget. Library funding remains unchanged from 2017 with the exception of a $2 million reduction in Renaissance Zone Reimbursements. The decrease is due to the expiration of some zones. 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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MLA Advocacy - January 26, 2017

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Tax Capture Relief Next Steps

Governor Rick Snyder signed into law SB 619-624 now PA 505-510 providing for specially dedicated library millages to be exempt from a number of tax captures. This achievement not only ensures millions of future tax dollars will go to libraries, but it is recognition by the legislature and administration that libraries are unique and important. Our special millages were the only ones given consideration (only the fourth historically) for an exemption in a year that saw a multitude of TIFA bills introduced. This is an incredible recognition by the Michigan legislature of the importance of libraries in this state.

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MLA Advocacy - December 22, 2016

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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.

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MLA Advocacy - November 23, 2016

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol DomeThanksgiving is the time of year we like to take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for. Of course, family and friends are first on my list. However, I am also grateful for the opportunity to work for the libraries and library professionals who help make our communities vibrant, inviting and informed. This is also a good time to say thank you to the hundreds of librarians who engage their elected officials and meet with them on a regular basis. I especially send my appreciation to those who serve on the MLA Legislative Committee and MLA Board of Directors along with the librarians I have called on repeatedly to contact their legislator to help us move a bill or support a position. Without your support, my job would be impossible.

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