Legislative Update -- April 29, 2021April 29, 2021
There are just over four weeks until the May 31 spring legislative session target adjournment date. As of now, there are arguably three main issues before the legislature: the FY2022 appropriations package; redistricting of legislative districts; and ethics reform. Friday, April 23 was the deadline for most bills to pass their origin chamber; almost 900 bills have crossed chambers and remain eligible for consideration during the final weeks of the session. There is some good news about key legislation ILA is supporting:
- SB 2232 codifies the increase in per capita grants for school and public libraries in statute; it passed the Senate and is now in the House.
- HB 234 requires the inclusion of media literacy in Illinois public high school curricula, and ILA worked with AISLE to support this; it passed the House and is now in the Senate.
A full list of legislation ILA is following is available on ILA's Illinois Legislative Issues web page. It will be updated following the upcoming ILA Public Policy Committee (PPC) meeting. PPC and the Advocacy Committee are meeting on Monday, May 3 to go over current legislation (PPC) and advocacy training in development (Advocacy). ILA committee meetings are open to ILA members to observe; if you wish to observe a meeting please contact Executive Director Diane Foote at email@example.com.
Call to Action! Build America's Libraries Act
ILA and ALA are still seeking support for the Build America's Libraries Act! Nine Illinois Representatives (Bustos, Casten, Garcia, Foster, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Newman, Schakowsky, Schneider) and Senator Durbin have co-sponsored to date; if your representative is not among them, please reach out NOW!
The subject of last week's call to action, support for fiscal year 2022 funding for LSTA and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program is also building. To date, Representatives Casten, Danny K. Davis, Schneider, Foster, and Bustos have signed "Dear Appropriator" letters in favor of both; Representative Schakowsky and Senator Durbin have signed in favor of LSTA; and Representatives Rush, Kelly, Newman, and LaHood have signed in favor of IAL. See the updated list here.
American Rescue Plan Act: NEA
Earlier, we promised to help keep libraries updated on opportunities beyond library-specific funding to be provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. Today, the first allotment of funding from the NEA to regional and state arts agencies was announced! Libraries interested in accessing this funding should keep an eye on the Illinois Arts Council Agency website, where you can sign up for updates as the sub-granting process develops.