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MLA Advocacy Update

Take Action for Libraries Today - Reach out to Your Legislators

April 23, 2020

MLA continues to reach out to all of our Senators and House members to remind them of the importance of libraries throughout Michigan. We encourage you to reach out to them as well and make sure that in these difficult times that they are hearing from you too. Since we cannot visit with them in person or invite them to hold their coffee hours at our libraries right now, we suggest you email them and let them know what you are doing, even with the physical doors closed. You can find their contact information by inputting your address at the following websites: Find your Representative | Find your Senator

Our state legislators need to know that access to digital resources, delivered by our libraries, has become critically important to our citizens in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Libraries have stepped up to successfully deliver these resources to our communities.

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Call to Action - Urge Governor Whitmer to Dedicate CARES Act Funding to Libraries

April 15, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan has received $89.4 million in federal aid through the CARES Act that will help K-12 schools, colleges and universities and other educational organizations. MLA has contacted Governor Whitmer requesting that a portion of these funds be used for libraries.

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Call to Action From ALA - Urge Your U.S. Representatives to Support Emergency Funding for Libraries

April 15, 2020

On behalf of American Library Association, MLA is asking you to please reach out to your federal house members to let them know what you anticipate for future needs. The next federal stimulus package is being developed as we speak, and Michigan Congressman Andy Levin is once again standing strong and leading the effort for libraries.

Reps. Andy Levin (D-MI), Don Young (R-AK), and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter calling for $2 billion in emergency funding for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The letter will be delivered to the House soon and we need more of our Michigan Representatives to sign on.

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Updates on SB 611 - Michigan Library Privacy Act

March 26, 2020

On March 12, MLA Executive Director, Deborah E. Mikula, testified at the State of Michigan Judiciary Committee Hearing in support of Senator MacGregor’s Senate Bill 611. Supportive testimony was also delivered by Lance Werner, Director of the Kent District Library, who accompanied Senator MacGregor, and non-verbal support was issued by 10 public libraries and cooperatives.

Last October, Senator MacGregor introduced SB 611 to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455. The intention of his bill was to enable libraries to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime. After hearing both concerns and support from the Michigan library community on Senator MacGregor's proposed amendments to the Privacy Act, MLA helped draft a substitute bill that clarifies and updates SB 611. The proposed substitution bill removes obstacles and legal barriers libraries sometimes face when a crime has been committed in the library while providing for continued protection to patron privacy.

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Senate Passes Historic Stimulus Package

March 26, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This bipartisan legislation is the largest economic aid package in US history, and was passed in the Senate with a unanimous 96-0 vote. It will next go to the House for a vote.

On Wednesday evening, before the Senate passed this legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will convene at 9 a.m. Friday to consider the relief package. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is indicating that she's optimistic that the bill will pass in the House as well. President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure and tweeted his congratulations after it cleared the Senate. View full the bill text here.

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