Legislative Update -- January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020

Last week we shared information about HB 4135, a proposed law enabling library district boards to collect a 1% tax on recreational cannabis sales from dispensaries located in the district. Since then, we have examined the potential impact to libraries across the state: Of the 55 dispensaries currently licensed to sell medical cannabis, 37 have also been licensed for recreational sales. 17 of those are located in library districts. This represents approximately 5% of the state's district libraries, and 2% of all public libraries in Illinois. Of course, the number of dispensaries is expected to increase, but as of now and as the law is currently drafted, the impact of its passage would be very small. The bill was assigned to the Revenue & Finance Committee on Tuesday. ILA's position remains in support of additive sources of revenue for libraries, in support of options for local library boards, and in opposition to using any new sources of revenue as pretexts for capping or lowering property tax revenues.

This week, the bill including language we have been working on with the Illinois State Library featuring patron privacy and self-hold pickup processes (see "Legislative Update," 12/9/2019) was introduced, SB 2523. This bill has not yet been assigned to committee, which would be the next step in its potential progression. The ILA Best Practices Committee has also explored, well, best practices around self-hold pickups that balance respect for patron privacy with many patrons' wishes for convenience; look for the Committee's article shortly.

The Illinois General Assembly spring session opened this past Tuesday. Other Illinois legislation we're following includes of course ILA's own legislative priorities, and also bills that address pensions and other aspects of municipal finance, the Open Meetings Act, and anything having to do with property taxes.

On the federal level, questions came up among some of our federal representatives about a rumor that the Census form would not work on computers built before 2008--leaving aside the fact that functionality has more to do with the operating system than the "box"--this rumor is FALSE. Check out the U.S. Census Bureau's page on debunking rumors about the Census in order to be able to inform your patrons.