Legislative Update -- July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act Funding Sources: NEA
As state and federal agencies release additional information about the availability of funding authorized by ARPA, we're keeping our ARPA Funding for Illinois Libraries index up-to-date. Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the opening of the application process for direct funding. The NEA received $135 million in ARPA funds, 40% of which will be disseminated through state agencies such as the Illinois Arts Council Agency, guidelines for which are still in development. NEA will award the remaining 60% "in competitive grants to support jobs in the arts and culture sector and keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations and local arts agencies nationwide." Libraries ARE eligible for these grants in the amount of $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000. Staff salaries, fees/stipends for artists, facilities costs, and more are eligible uses. Learn more or apply.

Open Meetings Act and Governor's Disaster Proclamation
We reported on June 3 about the Governor's executive order extending the ability of public boards to utilize a virtual quorum through June 26. On June 25, Governor Pritzker issued a renewal of his disaster proclamation through July 24, enabling virtual quorums through that date. The Governor also issued EO 2021-14 that extended prior executive orders, including the one regarding in-person meeting requirements. 

Per Capita Increase Legislation Signed by Governor
ILA has been pursuing increases in the per capita grant rates for school and public libraries for two years; beginning with the Illinois State Library adding these increases into its budget request via the Secretary of State's office, the budget's subsequent approval in the legislature and by the Governor in fiscal year 2021 and now 2022; and finally, codification in state law. Public Act 102-0039 was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on June 25, 2021.

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 »