Special Legislative Update -- June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

We are especially pleased to announce that Governor Pritzker signed the FY2020-21 budget (Public Act 101-0638) on June 12, 2020, and that this budget includes 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. We thank Governor Pritzker, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Senate Majority Leader Don Harmon, and Secretary of State Jesse White for their support of Illinois libraries in this manner. It will require follow-up action to change the underlying statute in the fall, which we will see through.

Other legislation of interest to libraries passed by the Illinois General Assembly in its abbreviated session from May 20-23, 2020 reported earlier has also now been signed into law, including changes to the Open Meetings Act that codifies practices into legislation (formerly addressed by executive orders) regarding the ability to convene a public body's quorum virtually and the Cards for Kids Act enabling students in unserved areas to access library cards at no charge, are noted on the ILA website

ILA's new governance year begins July 1, and that includes the Public Policy Committee (PPC). Please use the "Contact Us" button on PPC's web page to share with ILA Executive Director Diane Foote and incoming PPC Chair Daniel Matthews, Moraine Valley Community College, your ideas for areas of focus. Budget? Annexation of districts, municipal libraries, unserved areas? State-level policies that affect school or academic libraries? Increasing access to library services? Net neutrality? Addressing persistent inequities via legislation following the public outcry over the killing of George Floyd? COVID-19 related relief? We may not be able to tackle everything at once, but we need--and will take seriously--input from our members. Thank you.

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