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IMPORTANT CLC ADVOCACY ALERT
Dear CLC Member,

The legislature is in session, we have a new Governor, and it is once again time for libraries to speak up.

You may have heard recently from the CLA Legislative Committee about how to take action. I want to fill you in on what the recent Governor's budget and CLA Legislative Agenda mean to you, a CLC member.
Governor's Budget: Flat funding for CLC and most other library lines
Last week, Governor Lamont released his FY2020 - FY2021 Biennium Budget. You can  view the CT State Library summary page HERE . The full budget is available  here
 
Key takeaways:

  • CLC ("Support Cooperating Library Service Units") is flat-funded at $124,402 for both FY2020 and FY2021, the same as FY2019. 
  • There is a modest increase for DeliverIT ("Interlibrary Loan Delivery Service") in both FY2020 and FY2021.
  • There is an increase in "Personal Services," so as to "annualize funding for state employee wage adjustments."
  • All other lines, including ResearchIT ("State-Wide Digital Library") and BorrowIT ("Connecticard Payments") are level-funded (i.e., same as last year).
Impact of the Governor's Budget on CLC
While we are working on key initiatives to help replace our eroding state budget line, continued funding at the $124K level reduces CLC's ability to expand services. Every year that we’ve seen cuts to our budget since 2015, we’ve offered fewer new discounted products. This year, we are budgeted to pull $157K from our reserves. Expanding and changing fee structures to replace state funding takes time. Without more state funding for the next 5 years, membership dues increases will be inevitable.
CLC and the CLA Legislative Agenda
Key message:   Restored State Library Funding = More Resource Sharing Across CT

This year, the CLA Legislative Agenda includes two types of initiatives: budgetary and legislative. For the complete 2019 CLA Legislative Agenda, click here.

CLC endorses the CLA legislative agenda. We believe that restoring funding to all State Library programs and supporting the legislative initiatives are important and timely for the library community and our members.

Two items from the agenda directly impact CLC’s operations:
 
  • Restore state support for Connecticut Library Consortium by $208,100 to cover at least 30% of its budget. Restoring CLC funding to $332,500 will buy us important time to develop non-dues income streams.

  • Student Privacy Rights in an electronic age: Support legislation establishing a clause mandating all database contracts conform to the CT Data Privacy Act. This is an important legislative “fix” that would enable contracts negotiated by the State Library and CLC to fulfill the CT Data Privacy Act, and would eliminate additional contracts and paperwork by schools and libraries.
We need your help once again!
Please speak up for CLC and all the issues on the CLA Legislative Agenda
  • Contact your legislators. We especially need people to contact legislators on the 2019 Elementary & Secondary Education Subcommittee. If you live or work in a district represented by one of them (find out HERE), please contact them NOW. Use the talking points below. Share the savings realized collectively by member libraries in your house and senate district - get this information here. Remind legislators how your membership in CLC saves you money and time, and allows you to provide more services and resources. Point out how the investment in libraries has ripple effects in your community. Use specific, moving examples from your own library and/or your own life.

  • Submit official written testimony. Testimony should be in a Word or PDF document and emailed to apptestimony@cga.ct.gov. Please reference the hearing date (March 6), Governor's Bill #7148, and the State Library. Your testimony can focus on CLC, on all of CLA's talking points, or just ones of particular meaning to you. If you focus on CLC, please reference "Cooperating Library Service Units (Connecticut Library Consortium)." Note that your document will be posted online and will become part of the public record.

  • Testify on behalf of CLC at the budget hearing on Wednesday March 6. If you are a strong advocate for libraries and are comfortable testifying, please join us March 6 to make your voice heard. Contact CLA at cla@ctlibrarians.org to be added to the list. Be advised that your turn may be any time from 4:00pm until late at night; the order is determined by lottery that day. Prepare your remarks in advance and limit them to 3 minutes. Here are some tips.
Why does CLC need more funding?
Talking Points
Fund CLC and stretch Connecticut’s tax dollar.

  • CLC’s statutory charge to negotiate cost savings contracts for Connecticut’s public libraries has been gutted by continual budget cuts. In 2018, state funding only covered 15% of this cost-effective program that saved $7.4 million in hard-earned taxpayer dollars. These cuts have also undermined CLC’s ability to provide professional development and resource-sharing programs.

  • CLC manages over 40 contracts that provide a $60 public service return on investment for every tax dollar used.

  • Our libraries need Connecticut to fund more than 15 percent of CLC’s budget so it can stop bleeding its reserves dry. Restore state support by $208,100 to cover at least 30% of CLC's budget.

  • CLC unifies Connecticut libraries so they can deliver a higher return on taxpayer investments. One CLC replaces duplicative research, purchasing and negotiation activities at over 700 libraries and in every municipality.

  • For specific savings realized by CLC negotiated contracts or services for each legislative district, click here.
If you have questions about any of the material above, please contact me at jkeohane@ctlibrarians.org .
 
Thank you, as always, for your support.

Warmly,
Jennifer Keohane, Executive Director
Connecticut Library Consortium
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