Legislative Update -- July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

Governor Pritzker Extends Disaster Proclamation
On July 23, Governor Pritzker issued a renewal of his disaster proclamation through August 22; and EO 2021-15. However, in this proclamation, he did not include his previous finding that in-person attendance at public meetings was not feasible due to the disaster. In addition, this executive order did not extend the prior executive orders that relaxed in-person meeting requirements. Read Ancel, Glink's Municipal Minute blog post with an interpretation of what this means, including the possibility that a local body could make a decision to hold virtual meetings even though there is no longer a statewide justification for doing so. 

ARPA Funding for Cities, Towns, and Villages
The time is now for libraries (including district and municipal libraries) to reach out to your cities, towns, and villages to collaborate on accessing ARPA funding. The $742 million available to "non-entitlement" units of government (that is, municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents) is coming available via DCEO, as we'd anticipated. As reported previously and noted on ILA's ARPA Funding for Illinois Libraries page, the FAQ on the U.S. Treasury website states "Special-purpose units of local government will not receive funding allocations; however, a state, territory, local, or Tribal government may transfer funds to a special-purpose unit of government. Special-purpose districts perform specific functions in the community, such as fire, water, sewer or mosquito abatement districts." This also covers library districts. The deadline for municipalities to apply is September 30, 2021, so don't wait.

BALA Advocacy Alert 
ALA urges Illinoisans to reach out to Senator Duckworth's office to urge her support for the Build America's Libraries Act! Senator Durbin is already on board. BALA would provide $5 billion for library construction and renovation, including $169 million here in Illinois. From ALA:

It will only take a quick minute. Here's what to say, and who to call:

 Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), Phone #: (202) 224-2854 

  • I'm a constituent calling to comment on legislation. [If leaving a voice mail, state your name and city.]
  • I'm calling to ask the Senator to join as a cosponsor of the Build America's Libraries Act. The bill number is S. 127.
  • The Build America's Libraries Act would provide $169 million to repair and modernize library buildings in Illinois.
  • Libraries are essential to digital inclusion, literacy, and economic opportunity.
  • I hope the Senator will join as a cosponsor of S. 127 and will support including this funding in the budget reconciliation package. Thank you!
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