Legislative Update -- September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

We haven't had a legislative update for a couple of weeks, mostly because our federal and state legislators have been occupied with things that affect libraries indirectly rather than specific library legislation, and everyone can learn about those things in the news. But here's a quick roundup:

In Springfield, the Illinois General Assembly is working on two major issues: The legislative remapping as a result of the 2020 Census figures, and an ambitious energy bill. The legislative remaps won't affect which legislators are serving which districts for the purposes of ILA's series of Library Legislative Meet-ups in February 2022 directly, although legislators' eagerness to participate may be impacted by whether or not they will run for re-election later that year. 

In Washington, Congress is working now on the budget reconciliation package for fiscal year 2022 that may provide up to $3.5 trillion in new spending, according to ALA. Congressional committees must submit legislation that determines the distribution of this funding no later than September 15. The Illinois Congressional delegation is very aware of the importance we place on library funding, particularly the Build America's Libraries Act. Help reinforce this message by taking action.

In other statehouses, ILA is watching what Maryland is doing with regard to e-book pricing legislation. Efforts to ensure fair access to and pricing for e-books for libraries rose to the forefront with the library embargo by Macmillan on new releases, since lifted during the pandemic. Publishers Weekly has covered the issue and reported on efforts to deem the Maryland law unconstitutional, as well as the U.S. Copyright Office's opinion. Read ALA's response to those efforts and the opinion.

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