Government Relations Committee Update

By Anne McDonald, Co-Chair, LLNE Government Relations Committee, and Emilie Benoit, Co-Chair, LLNE Government Relations Committee

The Vermont legislature passed H 490, the state budget bill on May 16, 2015 without restoring cuts to the Vermont Department of Libraries’ budget.  Vermont State Law Librarian Paul Donovan thanked LLNE for its support, saying “LLNE’s done all it can, and we’re very, very grateful.”   We have no definite word yet as to what will happen next, far as the state law library is concerned, but we will keep LLNE members posted.  LLNE’s letter to Vermont legislators is posted on the Vermont Library Association’s website.

A recent article in Library Journal discussed the impact of the proposed budget cuts on Vermont and Connecticut libraries, stating that the common problem in both states is that policymakers have a different view of the modern day role of libraries and that it is important for library supporters to speak out.

The AALL Government Relations Office sponsored a very informative Online Advocacy Training session on May 13th entitled: Progress Report: UELMA Advocacy in 2015 and Beyond.   The webinar highlighted the most common challenges advocates face in trying to move UELMA in their respective state legislatures and lays out a roadmap towards overcoming these challenges. A link to the recorded program is here.

The Massachusetts UELMA bill H 43 is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee. A hearing is scheduled for May 27th at 1 pm in room A-2.

Here is an update from the group’s Chair, Barbara Morgan.

“The UELMA subgroup is continuing to reach out to our legislators re: H43.

We anticipate requesting LLNE members in specific districts to help us move this bill forward in the near future.

Stay tuned to hear about ways you can ensure that legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form.”

The LLNE Government Relations Committee is providing this information to you to further its committee charge to keep you apprised of legislation which may be of interest to you as an informed law librarian.

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