Close up of Education Muse painted on the interior of the Capitol dome in Lansing, Mi 

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MLA Members Meet With New Legislators

February 25, 2021

February has been a busy month of meet and greets with our freshman legislators. Approximately 30 new house members were elected last November, took office in January, and MLA has been busy ever since setting up 30-minute introductory Zoom meetings with each of them. The new legislators have been very open to our conversations and have expressed their sincere support for libraries throughout Michigan. 

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Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Findings for FY21 and FY22

January 28, 2021

State economists including State Treasurer Rachel Eubanks, State Budget Director Dave Massaron, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Christopher Harkins, and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary, agreed to upgrade state revenue projections in response to data that shows the doom and gloom from the economic shutdowns enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be nearly as bad as originally feared. These projections* were presented at the January 15, 2021 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC).

When Michigan’s government finally closes the books on FY2020 (last year), it is projected to have a $2.5 billion surplus in the General Fund and a nearly $1.2 billion balance in the School Aid Fund. These numbers will be carried over into the current fiscal year. The combined $3.7 billion surplus is a complete turnaround to where state officials projected the budget's position to be last summer when Michigan was staring into a $2.2 billion hole for FY2020. The state economists stated that the federal government's help with unemployment payments, stimulus checks, and COVID-19 relief help for public health care, is a big driver for the change.

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MLA Advocates for Upgraded Vaccine Eligibility for Library Workers

January 25, 2021

We know vaccine eligibility is of great concern to many Michigan library workers. MLA is advocating for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for library workers using a two-pronged approach. We are requesting the prioritization of public and academic library workers as essential service providers in the vaccine rollout program and we are also providing a template for library leadership to use to contact their local health departments.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations place our school and academic library workers in Phase 1b of a vaccine rollout, but public library and archive workers are in Phase 1c. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidelines (Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance – January 6, 2021) prioritize vaccine allocation for only K-12 school personnel, including K-12 library workers, in Phase 1b of the rollout.

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Library Board Meetings Continue Virtually

January 22, 2021

On January 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its epidemic order (https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98455-550215--,00.html) with some modifications allowing additional specific indoor activities. The order takes effect on February 1 and remains in effect until February 21, 2021. All library board meetings must remain virtual. In fact, all public meetings, remain prohibited.

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MLA Prepares to Testify on SB611

November 19, 2020

MLA continues to be hopeful that by December 31, 2020, SB611 – amendments to the Michigan Privacy Act – will be signed into law. The global pandemic has caused delays in the committee process, so we have a few more steps to go before that can happen. 

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