Legislative Update -- October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

Second Round of Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program Announced
Governor Pritzker has announced $50 million in funding for the second round of matching grants of Connect Illinois, the state’s $420 million broadband expansion plan. From the DCEO announcement: "Applicants are anticipated to include internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments. Up to $5 million per project will be available during the second round, and subsequent rounds will follow over the course of the next several years. The second round of Connect Illinois calls for a non-state match component requiring companies to dedicate funding that will accelerate the delivery of broadband investments around the state." We expect the application to open 11/1/2020 through 2/28/2021 and will follow up to learn more about opportunities for libraries. Please visit the DCEO website to learn more.

Illinois FOIA Webinar
This week law firm Ancel, Glink shared information about an upcoming FOIA webinar to be hosted by the Illinois Attorney General's office. The webinar will take place November 6, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is designed to help public bodies and FOIA officers with responding to requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). RSVPs via email are required! To RSVP, email your name, title, public body, and email address to specialevents@atg.state.il.us by October 30, 2020. Space is limited, so the Attorney General’s Office encourages interested participants to register as soon as possible. 
Participants may email FOIA questions in advance as well as contact the Attorney General with any other questions or reasonable accommodation requests at specialevents@atg.stae.il.us or calling 1-866-376-7215 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013).

Federal Executive Order Regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
In September, the Trump Administration issued an executive order purportedly to affect the ability of recipients of federal funds, including grant recipients, to conduct certain kinds of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. This order is in direct conflict with ILA's strategic plan goal areas of "A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession" and "...in the Association." The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has issued comment as follows: 

"While providers should assess for themselves, the federal executive order appears to have no immediate impact on federal grants. Rather, it requires federal agencies to report to the federal Office of Management and Budget within 60 days of the order, to list grant programs to which the order might ultimately be applied. If the federal executive order were ever to actually be applied to recipients of federal grant funds, like IDHS and its federal grant recipients, IDHS’s reading is that it would not affect the ability to use non-federal funds to conduct these important trainings. Please know that IDHS will not allow this federal executive order to have a chilling effect on our own diversity, inclusion, equity, and racial justice work and training. And, while providers will need to make their own determination, IDHS encourages providers to begin or to continue to provide the same. We look forward to continuing our collective mission to be more equitable and inclusive entities and providers."

ALA President Julius Jefferson has also issued a statement condemning this executive order. 

Help ALA Track Libraries as Ballot Drop-Off Locations/Voting Locations
ALA is tracking libraries as voting locations, as well as where they are serving as ballot drop-off locations or early and/or election day voting/polling locations. ALA aims to capture, as best as possible, the number of libraries serving these roles in the 2020 general election, and as a benchmark for potential future expansion. If your library is serving as a voting location, please visit the ‘Libraries as Locations for Ballot Drop-Boxes and/or In-Person Voting’ webpage to see if your library is listed. If you do not see your library listed, we would appreciate someone from your library completing this form to add your library and the number of voting locations. Instructions for completing the form:

  • For the website we are tracking ballot drop-off locations and on-site polling locations separately. If your library is both a ballot drop-off location and an in-person polling location list it in the form in each appropriate field.
  • If your library is both an early voting/polling location and an election day voting/polling location, count that as one location, not two.
  • We are not capturing early voting/polling locations and election day voting/polling locations separately during this part of the information collection effort. We know in some states it is only early voting/polling and in some states only election day voting/polling and in some both.

If you see that the information on your library needs to be updated, or have questions, please contact Mariel Colbert at mcolbert@ala.org directly. Please note: This website is primarily for an internal library community audience. It is not intended for the public as a location to find days and hours of voting opportunities.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »