Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
March 29, 2019
In this issue of your ILF Advocacy Update
  • ILF Advocacy in the last week
  • HB1343 heads to the Senate Floor
  • Quick Links
What YOU can do
What you missed in prior issues - Catch up here. Review IFPI's Report on local governments
ILF advocacy in the last week

Your ILF advocates spent the week working diligently with Senators and staff on amendment language to HB1343 (see separate article) and following up with legislators from activities of the last two weeks. 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.
  • TAKE ACTION - Please thank your Representative and urge your Senator to support INSPIRE and Internet Connectivity in the State Budget. It is really important to thank Representatives for responding to our requests and to inform our Senators of the importance of this funding.
  • HB1052, Local Income Taxchanges 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 will hear this bill on 4/2.
  • 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.
  • 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. Last action: Senate Local Government Committee passed amended bill 5-4 on 3/28; 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 will hear this bill on 4/2.
  • 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.
  • On 3/20, ILF met with bill author and sponsors, Indiana State Police and IN Dept of Education to discuss the law and processes for various required criminal history checks for consideration of possible amendments to make the requirements more similar to those for schools.
  • Last action: pending action by House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.
  • SB623, Property Tax Matters, addresses the assessed valuation of retail certain properties, sometimes called the "dark store" bill. Last action: pending action by House Ways and Means Committee.
ILF supports HB1343 as amended 3/28

ILF supports the passage of HB1343 as amended by the Senate Local Government Committee on 3/28. We appreciate the Senators who worked diligently with us to address our concerns. The amended bill allows a fiscal body the option to require binding review if one of three criteria are met related to increases to the certified budget or certified levy that are over 10% over prior year or unallocated funds exceed 200% of the public library’s proposed budget. Under binding review, the cuts could not exceed 10% of prior year’s certified budget or certified levy. A public notice and hearing would be required, and the effective date was delayed until Sept. 1. We sincerely appreciate the new amended language.

We remain concerned about second reading amendments or conference committee actions that could change or remove the guardrails that were added by the Senate Local Government Committee . We support HB1343 as passed out of committee on 3/28, as we agree that libraries should maintain responsible reserves and should communicate plans for capital improvements to their communities.

Want more detail? See the 3/28 updated explanation . Want to compare current law to amended bill under hypothetical increases to budget or levy? See these scenarios drafted by your Advocacy Committee co-chairs.

What YOU can do:
  1. If you have relationship with your senator, please communicate our support for the current language (3/28), as well as our concern about 2nd reading amendments. 
  2. Policymaker and Influencer meetings -  Library directors and advocates are reaching out to policymakers and influencers to explain library budgeting and relationships with other units of government (see infographic to explain budgeting and reserves).
  3. If you have already met with your state representative or senator, please offer to answer any questions or to be in contact as changes are made to the bill.
  4. If you have not talked with your legislators, please set a time to meet to offer a tour, show your library services and to explain your budget and accountability processes.
Attention: Library Board Members
  • Library Board members may review policies and practices related to reserves and capital improvement and facility maintenance needs in order to explain to policymakers and taxpayers.
  • Board members and executive directors should watch their email for an upcoming web-based training for Library Trustees about local taxes and libraries. On Local Government property tax experts Tamara Ogle and Larry DeBoer of Purdue will offer a special, customized session on property taxes and libraries.
Understanding Local Government Finance

Let's face it. Local Government Finance is complicated.
There are many tools and resources that can help.

State of Indiana resources
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: Participate in April's
We [HEART] Our Library Yard Sign Campaign
ILF encourages all libraries--academic, public, school and special--to participate in the April Yard Sign Campaign to help raise awareness about libraries. Place 10, 100 or 1,000 yard signs around your community. Partner with a neighboring library and split an order of signs.

April 7-13 is National Library Week . April 9 is National Library Workers Day . April is National School Library Month . We encourage participants to keep signs out for at least two weeks or the full month.

You may use any vendor of your choice. For those wanting to make a quick order, ILF has made arrangements with two vendors used by ILF members.
  • The Signage is the company used by the Friends of Pendleton Community Public LibraryThe Signage offers a online order form. Order soon to ensure your signs arrive in time for placement.
  • is a company used by public libraries in Knox, Pike and Davies counties. Here is an order form.
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