Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
April 5, 2019
In this issue of your ILF Advocacy Update
  • Key Bills Affecting Libraries - The Latest
  • Senate expected to vote on HB1343 next week
  • Training session for Library Board members
  • Ten schools planning referendums
  • Quick Links
What YOU can do
  • Register for access the April 8 Virtual Advocacy Update
  • Celebrate National Library Week April 7-13. Tag us @ilfonline with photos of your activities.
  • Review the Bose Report or ILF Bill List (linked on page 4 of report)
  • Attend a session to Meet your Legislator -See calendar.
What you missed in prior issues - Catch up here.
Key bills affecting libraries:
What happened and what's coming?

As we approach the committee report deadline, we see bill language being amended into other bills. The full range of bills in which ILF is actively involved is described below.
  • HB1001, the biennial state budget billincludes funding for Indiana State Library operations, statewide library services, as well as our ILF priorities of stable funding for INSPIRE, Indiana's virtual library, and internet connectivity, which helps libraries offer free internet to millions of Hoosiers each year. Last action: ILF testified in Senate Appropriations Committee 3/4 in support of continued funding.
  • HB1052, Local Income Tax, changes the allocation of LIT revenue that is based on property taxes to be based on maximum permissible property tax levies instead of actual levies. The Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee heard this bill on 4/2, where Amy Cornell of Bose testified about the level of funding that libraries receive from Local Income Tax should any changes be pursued.
  • HB1214, Construction Managers as Constructorsadds public libraries to the list of public agencies in a definition. The remaining parts of the bill are not specific to libraries. Last action: Senate Local Government Committee passed the bill 9-0 on 3/28. It awaits the 3rd reading vote by the Senate.
  • HB1343, Libraries, provides the elected fiscal body the option to have binding review over library budgets if three criteria are met related to more than 10% increases in budget or levy or accumulation of more than 200% unallocated funds over budget. It allows the Council to cut the budget or levy by no more than 10%. Last action: Senate Local Government Committee passed amended bill 5-4 on 3/28 and the bill is anticipated to be amended on 2nd reading on 4/8. See separate article below.
  • HB1427, Local Government Matters, makes several changes related to processes with Department of Local Government Finance and requires an interim study of Local Income Tax. Last action: Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee heard this bill on 4/2. Amy Cornell of Bose testified for ILF. Bill authors and sponsors identified areas for possible amendment. The Committee is anticipated to amend and vote on Tues, 4/9.
  • SB64, Criminal Background Checks, would require background checks for employees, volunteers, speakers, performers and presenters whose scope of work includes contact with children less than 14 years of age. While SB64 is not likely to be heard by a House Committee, criminal history check policy language was amended into a Nurse Licensure Compact bill, SB436, as amendment #11 on 4/3. The same language is anticipated to be amended into HB1343 on 4/8. We support the addition of language "A public library shall adopt a criminal history check policy for employees and volunteers."
  • SB623, Property Tax Matters, addresses the assessed valuation of retail certain properties, sometimes called the "dark store" bill. Last action: still pending action by House Ways and Means Committee.
Senate expected to vote on HB1343 next week
As described above, HB1343 is expected to see a 2nd reading amendment as early as Monday, 4/8. ILF supported the passage of HB1343 as amended by the Senate Local Government Committee on 3/28 (where one of three threshold criteria could trigger a resolution for binding review--see above). See scenarios of how first two criteria could apply and our explaining LIRF infographic .

For possible second reading amendment on the Senate floor, we understand that there may be a date change for the resolution (from Sept. 1 to July 1), a change in the threshold for percentage of unallocated funds (from 200% to 150%) and the addition of criminal history check language in the article from above. As of the publication of this issue, no amendment (s) to HB1343 is posted. We agree that it makes sense to align the threshold for unallocated library funds with the threshold that would be required of townships for their capital improvement funds by HB1177, which is at 150% over budget.
Attention: Library Board Members

We are pleased to announce a web-based session on Wed, May 1, 10amET/9amCT. Tax experts Tamara Ogle and Larry DeBoer from Purdue will offer " Property Tax and Libraries. " This abbreviated and customized web-based session will help library board members understand property taxes and levies specific to libraries and in comparison with other units of government. There is no cost to attend. We aim to record for trustees and make available to members. Register here . Or distribute this  one-page flyer .
School Referendums Planned

While the Indiana General Assembly debates the best way to fund K-12 education, ten school districts are preparing to go to their voters for an increase in taxes to support education for May 7. Chalkbeat Indiana describes this trend with a focus on two Indianapolis school districts in this recent article and lists districts planning referendums in Elkhart, Johnson, Lake, Marion, Marshall, Porter, Steuben and White counties.

Learn more about 2018 results from referendums for school tax levy or for controlled construction projects .
What YOU can do: Attend Advocacy Update on April 8
ILF offers bi-weekly Advocacy Virtual Updates during the legislative session. Learn the inside scoop from our Advocacy Committee co-chairs and staff. Share what you are hearing about issues in your local community. Ask questions. Learn more about the issues.

RSVP for the VIRTUAL Advocacy Update at 10am ET on April 8 to receive the link to join the online meeting by computer or telephone. Note that sessions have been provided bi-weekly since January.
What YOU can do: Attend a Third House or Meet Your Legislator event
Legislators meet with constituents through "Meet your Legislator," "Third House" or "Cracker Barrel" events from December through May. Sessions are often hosted by a local library, Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau or League of Women Voters. See our calendar for upcoming Third House events in your area . Several are coming up in the next two weeks.

At right: a Third House session in Hamilton County
Prepping to Meet Your Legislator
  1. Find your legislators where you live and where you work. Research their bio and committees. Or email us for insight and tips.
  2. Download the 2019 Policy Priorities or two-pager. Review our Contacting your Legislator about Library Bills document. Email us for specific information and let us know what you learn. Develop a relationship.
  3. Plan to develop or deepen your relationships with legislators and key influencers in the community. Introduce yourself. Offer to be a resource for them about any library questions.
Indiana Library Federation Links