In the Statehouse this week
This week was the deadline for bills to make it out of committees. The House and Senate have Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 25-26) deadlines to pass out of the first chamber. As they "cross over" to the second chamber, bills will be assigned to committee and follow the same process of committee hearing, floor debate and vote.
Several House bills important to libraries that are moving on to the Senate include:
- HB1001, the biennial state budget bill, includes 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. The budget includes funding for state institutions of higher education, including certain capital projects. The budget includes increased funding for K-12 education. Specific proposals to increase teacher pay are in separate bills. The bill will likely pass out of the House on Monday, 2/25.
- 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.
- HB1214, Construction Managers as Constructors, adds public libraries to the list of public agencies in a definition. The remaining parts of the bill are not specific to libraries.
- HB1343, Libraries, provides the elected fiscal body the option to have binding review over library budgets, and the ability for the elected fiscal body to reduce a public library's budget in a budget year no more than the percentage reduction of any other taxing unit's operating budget over which the fiscal body has oversight. See updated explanation.
The Senate continues second and third readings on the floor, and the House continues third readings, during the last week of February. One bill of importance to libraries is
SB64, Criminal Background Checks
which would require background checks for employees and volunteers whose scope of work includes contact with children less than 14 years of age
What YOU can do
- Thank your State Representative for funding INSPIRE and Internet Connectivity in the state budget. Take action here.
- Learn more about library-related bills through the ILF Bill List (linked through the Bose Report) or by attending the Virtual Advocacy Update on Feb. 25.
- Order your yard signs for National Library Month (contact your own vendor or order in quantities of 10 here).
- Always be respectful. Be a trusted resource for policymakers.
NOTE: We will have more information during our online/conference meeting
on Monday, Feb 25
. Library Directors are especially encouraged to attend.