Committed to serving as an advocate for Illinois libraries
ILA monitors all bills in the Illinois General Assembly that affect libraries. ILA's Public Policy Committee (PPC) carefully reviews issues and recommends action: support, oppose, or monitor. We seek to indicate "monitor" status only as we are gathering information about a bill; the goal is to ultimately support or oppose laws that will affect libraries. In rare cases the impact on libraries remains unclear, or there is not consensus among librarians whether to support or oppose, but in general we try to avoid not taking a position. ILA's Quick Response Team addresses legislative issues that arise in between PPC meetings. Contact the PPC Chair, or read PPC meeting minutes, agendas, and reports to the ILA Executive Board here.
In addition to monitoring bills, ILA proactively proposes and advocates for legislation favorable to libraries; drafting changes to existing law or new law, finding sponsors for bills we wish to bring forward, and then garnering support and following the process through passage in both the House and Senate, through signature into law by the Governor.
101st Illinois General Assembly, 2020 Fall Veto Session
The Illinois General Assembly's veto session will take place November 17-19 and December 1-3, 2020.
- On Tuesday, September 15, Governor Pritzker said he has asked state agencies to prepare for 5% budget cuts in the current fiscal year (2021) and to look ahead to 10% cuts for the following fiscal year, due to dire budget projections. The FY2020-21 budget (Public Act 101-0638) does include increases in the per capita grant rate for both school and public libraries, from $0.75 per student to $0.885; and from $1.25 per resident to $1.475. These statutory amounts have not been raised since 1995. This success is a direct result of long-term advocacy on the part of all of our members to make the case for libraries' value to our elected officials, and a specific proposal from ILA this year. ILA will continue to monitor the budget situation with an eye toward development of our legislative agenda for spring 2021. We were able to secure an increase in the per capita grant rate for school and public libraries this year; the environment is challenging at best with regard to legislative proposals that carry budget increases in 2021.
- The Illinois Black Caucus's legislative agenda may also be taken up during the veto session, and consists of four tiers: education and workforce development; violence and police accountability; economic access, equity and opportunity; and health care and human services. We do not yet know which specific pieces of proposed legislation may make up the eventual education and workforce development platform, but it is likely there will be a role for libraries, especially school libraries.