Legislative Update -- August 12, 2021August 12, 2021
Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act
This week, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, including $2.75 billion for the Digital Equity Act, which calls on states to develop actionable plans to connect individuals lacking access to affordable internet; and also $43.45 billion dedicated to broadband deployment at eligible institutions, including libraries. According to ALA, "The legislation would ensure access to gigabit broadband service for libraries and other community anchor institutions, a provision ALA has long advocated for." The ALA press release notes that while this bill does not include the Build America's Libraries Act, "The Senate today also began the process to develop a budget reconciliation package, which is expected to include additional items of infrastructure funding. ALA is urging Congress to include $5 billion for library renovation and construction - equivalent to the Build America's Libraries Act."
Municipal Minute from Ancel Glink has released a new FAQ regarding public bodies' ability to utilize virtual quorums for board meetings as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and the Delta variant surge begins to prompt a return to social distancing, mask use, and remote participation in addition to vaccinations. A public body CAN meet without a physical quorum under certain conditions. Read the full FAQ.
Census 2020 Figures Released
Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released the local area 2020 Census population counts. It is not news that Illinois lost population and will be losing one federal Congressional seat. However, Chicago and Cook County both gained population, despite the overall state loss, since the 2010 Census. In Illinois, redistricting of state legislative districts must be done by June 30 according to the state constitution and was done using American Community Survey data since the 2020 Census counts were not available until today; maps enacted into law by Governor Pritzker on June 4 may be found here, as well as court challenges to the redistricting. Federal congressional redistricting has not yet been done. According to the Final Report on Illinois Census Self Response Rates, Illinois was seventh in the nation and first among the ten most populous states for self-response, with a rate of 71.4%, higher than the national average of 67% and higher than Illinois' own rate of 70.5% in 2010. Self-responses were complemented by follow-up to achieve a 99.99% response rate in the state.
Cards for Kids Act Administrative Rules in Place
The revised administrative rules for public library nonresident services were approved and took effect on July 19. Revisions include guidance on the Cards for Kids Act, e-resources for nonresidents, and the veterans' disability exemption. The nonresident administrative rules can be found on the Illinois General Assembly’s website.