Legislative Update -- February 20, 2020February 20, 2020
Budget News! Governor Pritzker presented his budget address to the Illinois General Assembly yesterday, and recommends appropriation of $15.128 million for our grant programs in his FY2021 budget. This is more than a 21% increase over FY2020 (current year) at $12.482 million for our equalization, per capita, and area grants in the Secretary of State's budget. This increase is a direct result of ILA's research indicating per capita grant rates for public and school libraries had not kept pace with the cost of living and the Secretary of State's work with the Governor's Office. Of course, this is only the first step, and the ball is now in the legislature’s hands, as appropriation hearings will begin on the Governor’s budget proposal in the near future.
ILA's busy advocacy season continues with the seventh of eight Library Legislative Meet-ups taking place tomorrow in the South Suburban region, at the Tinley Park Public Library. We've had six positive events so far and will report back on the series following its conclusion on March 6, with the Chicago event.
Bills continue to be introduced in Springfield, with some progressing into committee hearings. A list of the ones we are following most closely is available on the ILA website's Illinois Legislative Issues page. The Public Policy Committee meets next on March 3, 2020, and we'll be discussing these and determining ILA's position. In general, we continue to oppose any legislation that adversely affects our libraries' ability to raise revenues via property taxes or that imposes unfunded mandates; and support any legislation that increases access or preserves local control to the extent possible. Please keep an eye on these Legislative Updates and the ILA website as the proposed legislation moves (or not) through the process.