Legislative Update -- February 6, 2020

February 6, 2020

ILA's Public Policy Committee met on 2/5/2020 and discussed the current status of bills ILA is following, opposing, and supporting, in particular:

  • Library trustee qualifications:  We seek to limit "indebtedness" preventing library district trustee service to property tax in arrears; and to apply the recently-approved qualifications to municipal library trustees for consistency. HB 4328 has been introduced and has not yet been assigned to a committee.
  • Media Literacy: Along with AISLE, we support the creation of a Media Literacy Task Force and the appointment of a school librarian; similar to our advocacy for a librarian on the Broadband Advisory Council (see below). HJR 9 was introduced in 2019, and has not yet been reassigned to a committee.
  • Patron Privacy: Last year legislation was introduced seeking to regulate libraries' self-service hold pickup process. Current draft language defines "personal identifiable information" and allows a library to provide such information upon documented consent by the patron. SB 2523 has been introduced, it was assigned to the Local Government Committee on February 6, 2020. 
  • Cannabis Sales Tax: HB 4135, to enable library district boards to collect 1% tax on recreational cannabis sales from dispensaries located in their districts, has been referred to the Sales, Amusement, and Other Taxes Subcommittee of the Revenue and Finance Committee. 
  • PTELLSB 2339 would amend the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law so that taxing districts shall reduce their aggregate extension base upon referendum. ILA opposes efforts to limit property tax revenue for libraries. It has not yet been referred to a committee.

FEDERAL UPDATE
On the federal level, ILA Executive Director Diane Foote will travel to Washington, DC for ALA's Fly-In Day on February 11 along with Rockford Public Library Director Lynn Stainbrook to advocate for federal funding for libraries; we are seeking increased funding for IMLS to $206 million and full funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Act at $27 million for fiscal year 2021. Foote and Stainbrook will meet with the Illinois Representatives serving on the House Appropriations Committee, Mike Quigley and Cheri Bustos; with both Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, and Representative Jan Schakowsky.

As the 2020 Census draws closer, ALA has released an updated version of "Libraries' Guide to the Census," and has made available a recording of the January 30 webinar "Responding Online to the 2020 Census: What Libraries Need to Know."

BROADBAND ADVISORY COUNCIL
In 2019, ILA advocated for the inclusion of a librarian on a planned Broadband Advisory Council; Illinois libraries are currently represented on the BAC by ILA Executive Board member Anne Slaughter. The BAC recently released its first report