Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
December 8, 2017
Indiana Library Federation supports Net Neutrality
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking specific services or websites. Strong net neutrality rules are critical to the functioning of modern libraries because we rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public.
Background : In 1996, President Clinton and a Republican Congress established policy of the United States “to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order that recognized the internet as a utility and imposed regulations to require service providers to treat all internet traffic and services equally.

Earlier this year, Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed an order that would essentially reverse the 2015 order.

  • Proponents of internet neutrality, including people in the library, technology, education and consumer protection communities, argue that the internet has become a critical utility, which requires basic rules and regulations to ensure equal access to information and services. They argue that reversing the 2015 rules would result in higher rates for many, discrimination over content, degradation of service and a threat to education, research, learning and the unimpeded flow of information.
  • Opponents of internet neutrality, including many in the telecommunications industry and advocates of unregulated markets, argue that broadband investment has slowed as a result of the 2015 order and increased regulations. They argue that the Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order would result in more jobs, increased competition and better, faster and cheaper internet access, especially for those in rural areas.

Our position : Indiana Library Federation stands by the principle that internet traffic should be treated equally . Strong net neutrality rules are critical to the functioning of modern libraries because we rely on the internet to collect, create and disseminate essential online information and services to the public. Internet neutrality policies help ensure the internet will remain open to free speech, research, education and innovation.

We further advocate for expanding broadband access for all residents. Access to high-speed internet is critical for student success, for increasing job skills through online training or distance education, for finding and applying for jobs, for completing government transactions and for participating in the modern economy. 
Key links on Net Neutrality

As discussed by the ILF Advocacy/Legislative Committee on 12/6/17, we will provide you further guidance to members after the Dec. 14 FCC meeting.
Rep. Tim Brown, Legislative Advocacy Award winner for 2017
The ILF Library Advocacy Award honors and recognizes a state or federal legislator or an individual who has promoted and supported legislative efforts which promote Indiana libraries, media centers or librarianship. Dr. Tim Brown , State Representative, serves House District 41, which includes portions of Montgomery, Boone and Tippecanoe counties.

As the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Brown has advocated for funding and library-supportive tax policies over many sessions. During the 2017 session, not only did he make sure that library funding was sustained; but also, Chairman Brown fought for additional new funding for internet connection for schools and libraries . ALA even highlighted his efforts and quoted him in a recent article : “Legislators already understand that access to rural broadband is an issue in our state. The Indiana Library Federation helped us understand how many of our children and adults rely on publicly supported internet at libraries in order to complete homework, apply for jobs and interact with government.” 

During his acceptance at the Annual Meeting, Rep. Brown reminded the audience of his early years driving the bookmobile for the library. Thank Representative Tim Brown for his support of libraries.
Legislative Updates from Bose Public Affairs
Matt Long serves as our primary account manager with Bose Public Affairs , our contracted firm for government affairs and lobbying. Through our contract, we have access to the entire team of government affairs experts.

See the latest report from Bose Public Affairs for a summary of news from the Statehouse. (Remember that Bose Reports require your ILF Member Login. Contact us if you forgot your login or password.) In case you missed it, here is Matt's advocacy update slides from the ILF Annual Conference in November.

In other news, Bose Public Affairs Group will absorb Washington Partners, a firm with 20 clients and lobbying expertise in education and technology, on Jan. 1. Bose will rename its education practice as Bose Washington Partners.
Attend Third House sessions
Legislators meet with constituents in " Third House " or " Meet your Legislator " events within districts. Most legislators will offer a preview or update of the types of legislation being considered during the short session of the Indiana General Assembly . Let us know if you plan to attend one of the upcoming sessions. We aim to have our Policy Priority document available by January.
  • Crawfordsville - December 9 at 8:00am
  • Elkhart County - January 20 at 10am
  • Greater Greenwood - January 12 at 7:30am
  • Greater Lafayette - January 20 at 7:30am
  • Hamilton County - January 12 at 11:30am
Thanks to Indiana Association of United Ways for maintaining the statewide calendar or the printable version . More dates will be added as they are scheduled or known.
If you liked Drew Klacik's presentation in October,
take this deeper data dive about Central Indiana counties
The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce worked with the IU Public Policy Institute to research the driving factors around economic and workforce development in the Central Indiana community, including Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson and Shelby counties. Take a look at the slides from a recent learning lab, " Rebuilding the Dream: Inclusive Growth for the Indianapolis region ."

For those who attended the IPLA conference in October, this is the deeper dive report that Drew Klacik mentioned after he discussed the role of libraries in community. See Drew's slides from October .
New report highlights the gap in wages for Hoosier women
The Indiana Institute for Working Families announces the release of  Wages, Wealth, & Poverty: Where Hoosier Women Stand & Ways Our State Can Close the Gaps . The report uses national, state, and county level data on earnings, assets, and poverty rates to shine a light on women's financial well-being in Indiana. Those who attended our October conference may remember the report's author and policy analyst, Erin Macey, who presented on poverty.