Legislative Update -- July 16, 2020 21July 16, 2020
Illinois is currently #7 in the nation, with a 66.9% rate of response, compared to 62.1% nationally. Ending national total in 2010 was 72%.
REMINDER! ALA Continues Advocacy for Libraries in COVID Relief Funding
ALA is spearheading an advocacy campaign to encourage support for bicameral legislation sponsored by Representative Andy Levin (D-RI) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) calling for $2 billion in emergency recovery funding for America's libraries through IMLS on a per capita basis, with at least $10 million per state. The bill has 27 House co-sponsors, including Illinois Rep. Janice Schakowsky, the only one so far from the state. In the Senate, there are 13 co-sponsors; neither Sen. Durbin nor Sen. Duckworth is among them (yet). In the House it has been referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, on which Illinois Representative Lauren Underwood sits; and the Budget Committee, on which Rep. Schakowsky sits. If your Rep. is Jan Schakowsky, please thank her, and if not, please urge yours to support HR 7486. Take action here!
For District Libraries Only!
There are a number of bills pending in the U.S. Congress to address COVID-19 relief funding; some may get rolled into an omnibus bill like the HEROES Act, which was passed in the House but has no action in the Senate. HEROES includes only $5 million in library funding, very little compared to the Library Stabilization Fund Act noted above. HR 7073, the Special Districts Provide Essential Services Act, would provide relief funding to special districts, including fire districts, park districts, mosquito abatement districts, water reclamation districts, and yes, library districts. Special districts nationwide are invited to complete this survey, developed by the National Special Districts Coalition, by the end of business on Monday, July 20, 2020 to inform legislators of the need.
Local CURE Funding
Please note: Eligibility for this opportunity is currently under discussion among Governor Pritzker's administration and other groups, but we wanted to give you a heads-up that some limited funding may be available for libraries to reimburse unbudgeted COVID-related expenses, under "Allotment C" on the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity website, which states: "The Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (or Local CURE) Support Program (Section 3-10 of Public Act 101-0636) is a support program for units of local government as defined by the Illinois Constitution. The Local CURE program is appropriated to the department under Section 5 of Article 30 of Public Act 101-0637 in State Fiscal Year 2021 for $250,000,000 and administrative rules for the program can be found under Title 14 Ill. Admin. Code Part 700."