Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
October 31, 2019
In this issue of your ILF Advocacy Update
  • ILF Legislative and Policy Priorities for 2020
  • Indiana General Assembly Interim Study Committees
  • School Referenda on the Nov. 5 ballot
  • Update on eBooks and Digital Content issues
  • Quick Links
What YOU can do
  • Become familiar with our 2020 Priorities
  • ILF Conference Attendees: vote early; attend advocacy sessions; connect with attendees from the same legislative districts
  • Post video, sign petition and explain publisher policies
ILF Legislative and Policy Priorities for 2020

The ILF Board approved the 2020 ILF Legislative Policy Priorities, as we prepare for the 2020 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Incorporating the feedback from more than 250 survey responses, multiple virtual exchanges and in-person meetings, the   ILF Advocacy Committee   recommended priorities to include  actively advocating for   :
  • Stable taxing structures that support libraries.
  • Library card access for children in foster care.
  • Certified school librarians, supported by library assistant paraprofessionals in state-funded K-12 education.
  • Initiatives that provide additional broadband coverage to increase access, affordability, speed and capacity for residents and communities, including schools and libraries. 
ILF continues to support lifelong learning in pre-k and adult education, as well as state funding for internet connectivity, INSPIRE and school libraries. ILF remains positioned for action on policy issues that affect libraries.

The Indiana General Assembly holds its ceremonial Organization Day on Nov. 19, when legislators begin drafting legislation for introduction in the short 2020 session.
Interim Study Committees Complete Work

The Indiana General Assembly convenes study committees in the interim in order to prepare for the next legislative session. This is the week of deadlines for report completion. Check the last meeting of key committees to see the final reports and any recommended legislation:
  • Education Committee made a number of recommendations related to splitting counseling from career counseling, streamlining of teacher training requirements, and the re-establishment of the Education Roundtable (see final report). Property tax referendum impact on schools and teacher pay were discussed on 10/15 (see section on school referenda for links to reports).
  • Fiscal Policy considered creation of regional development authorities for taxing on 9/30, complexity index for K-12 on 10/15, and a review of the workforce-related program reports and tax incentive review on 10/18. The committee did not make any recommendations for legislation (see final report).
  • Government started reviewing statutes governing state and local public works projects.
  • Pension Management Oversight considered changes to pension and post-retirement benefits. The committee voted to recommend legislation with two changes to INPRS, Indiana's Public Retirement System: 1) one would allow an active employee of normal retirement age to make withdrawals from the employee’s annuity savings accounts or account, as applicable, of PERF, TRF, the Legislators’ Defined Contribution Plan, the Public Employees’ Defined Contribution Plan, or the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Plan; and 2) another would broaden annuity options for retired members of PERF and TRF who decide to use all or part of their annuity savings accounts to purchase an annuity. See drafts from meeting 10/3 or the final report.
  • Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human services considered access to care in rural areas and prescription drugs.
Reminders for ILF Annual Conference Attendees
The ILF Annual Conference is days away. Attendees are reminded to:
  • Vote early if living in a jurisdiction with municipal or school referendum elections. Voting early is easy. Find your polling place here.
  • Check out the sessions related to advocacy, including the session by our contracted Legislative Advocate Amy Cornell of Bose Public Affairs.
  • Seek out the other attendees who live in or serve your legislative district. This is the time to share information about coordination of attendance at Third House sessions and open houses or events across public, school and academic libraries.
School Referenda

T he November 5 election will include many school referenda. The following is a list of the school districts pursuing a referendum to raise taxes for construction, operations or school safety.

Controlled Project (construction)
  • Danville Community Schools, Hendricks County
  • Huntington County Community Schools, Huntington County
  • MSD Lawrence Township, Marion County
  • Scott County School District Number 1, Scott County
  • Washington Community Schools, Daviess County
  • Zionsville Community Schools, Boone County

School Tax Levy (operations)

  • Center Grove Community School Corporation, Marion County
  • Danville Community School Corporation, Hendricks County
  • Hamilton Community School Corporation, DeKalb & Steuben Counties
  • Huntington County Community School Corporation, Huntington County
  • Vigo County School Corporation, Vigo County 
  • Zionsville Community Schools, Boone County

School Safety and Security
  • Carmel Clay School Corporation, Hamilton County

The IN Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) maintains detail about the specific financial amounts and justification. Scroll through this link . Also note that the Interim Study Committee on Education reviewed the extent to which property tax referenda impact schools and teacher pay. Check out this data from DLGF and these report findings from LSA .
Updates on eBooks and Digital Content

The issue related to eBooks and Digital Content has received Congressional attention. American Library Association (ALA) responded to congressional inquiry about competition in digital markets. ALA provided requested information to the House Committee of the Judiciary on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law ,   on 10/15. See ALA's 10/23 media release .

What can YOU do?
* Join 1,215 Hoosiers who signed the eBooksForAll petition.
* Post this video on your social media channels or use these custom ILF sample messages to educate your patrons and stakeholders.
Indiana Library Federation Links