Archive for the 'Federal' Category

Senate approves FY19 library funds in appropriations bill

The full Senate passed a FY19 Labor, Health, Human Services & Education (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill on Thursday with an 85-7 vote. It includes level funding plus a slight increase for IMLS.

  • $242 million for Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), a $2 million increase
  • $189.3 million for Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA)
  • $27 million for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL)

The House approved their Labor-HHS bill in July. Congress now must approve 12 spending bills before the start of FY19 on October 1, or pass a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open. The full House is expected to delay voting on the spending bills until after the November election and pass a continuing resolution instead.

Many thanks to all of your earlier advocacy efforts! Senators Cardin and Van Hollen both voted in support of the bill. Please take a moment to thank them for their support either by calling their offices or sending a message through Engage.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch article.

 

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Advocacy Update: FY19 LSTA & IAL funding & Thank you to Harris

As you may have heard, both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees passed FY19 funding bills that include level funding for the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). LSTA was funded at $186.3 million and IAL was funded at $27 million. The next steps are for the bills to go to the full Senate and House. No date has been set for this. For more information, see the District Dispatch article.

Congressman Harris serves on the Labor HHS-Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Many thanks to everyone who contacted Congressman Harris to ask him to support LSTA and IAL funding! We now need to tell him thank you and we received a request from the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office to do just that—see below for specifics. If you are in Harris’ district, please take a moment to thank him!

From the ALA Washington Office:

One of the best ways to ensure full funding is to express our thanks to the elected leaders who have supported libraries. As Representative Harris serves on the House Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, a “thank you” can be doubly powerful right now.

Would you take a moment to thank Congressman Harris for his support of libraries with a call, tweet, letter, or letter to the editor expressing thanks on behalf of your community?

You can reach his congressional office at 202-225-5311.

Use his social media handles to tweet at them a message such as “thank you Rep. Harris for supporting federal funding for libraries – it helps our library [do x, y, z].” Using original photos from your library provides an added personal touch. His twitter “handle” is: @RepAndyHarrisMD.

The message points to express are (and please add any personal examples from your state):

1. Thank you for supporting libraries in your district and state.

2. LSTA funding ensures that everyone has access to a broad range of library services in your state. The funding provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, along with matching state funds, allows libraries to provide access to resources state-wide, implement services for veterans, run summer reading programs, support small business and entrepreneurs as well as many other high-demand services.

3. IAL funding is a small but important program for early childhood literacy. Developing strong literacy skills at an early age is one of the best indicators of a students’ future success in education.

 

Thank you!

 

Advocacy Alert! Call Harris today (June 6) to ask for LSTA and IAL support

This is a new call for advocacy for FY19 funding–a special request from the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office, specifically for advocates in Congressional District 1. Not sure of your District? Go to the MLA Engage site and enter your address under Find your elected officials.

As you know, ALA and library advocates have been working to preserve funding for federal libraries in the face of the administration’s proposed cuts. Many thanks for your previous efforts! We are approaching a critical juncture this month, as both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are expected to introduce their versions of the funding bills for Fiscal Year 2019. These key Congressional committees will make decisions about which programs will receive funding – including library programs like the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

Congressman Harris serves on the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee (Labor HHS) and will be a key decisionmaker about the future of library funding. He needs to hear from you about the importance of federal funding for libraries.

Please call Representative Andy Harris today at (202) 225-5311 and say:

  • I am a constituent calling about the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.
  • Please support libraries in our community by preserving funding for the Library Services and Technology Act and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program.
  • Full funding protects nearly $3 million (FY18) for Maryland. Those funds provide library services to children, families, veterans, small businesses, job seekers, and many others across our state.
  • Please support at least $189 million for LSTA and $27 million for IAL.

By calling together on the same day, we can make a biggest impact on Capitol Hill. Please take five minutes to call today– and help us protect over $210 million that strengthens America’s libraries.

With your support, last year we increased funding for LSTA and protected IAL funding, even though the White House called to eliminate them. But each year is a new year, and we have to continue to show up for our libraries. Your Representative is a critical vote for libraries nationwide – please call today.

To help even more, after you made your call please post on social media (#FundLibraries) or email a quick note to Kevin Maher (kmaher@alawash.org).

Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 

Advocacy Update: FY19 LSTA & IAL Dear Appropriator Letters

Many thanks to everyone who contacted Congress to ask for signatures on the Dear Appropriator letters in support of FY19 funding for LSTA and IAL! Both Senators signed on to both letters, as did Representatives Delaney, Raskin and Sarbanes. Representatives Brown, Cummings and Ruppersberger signed on to the LSTA letter. Please take a moment to use Engage to reach out to the Senators and your Representative and thank them for their support!

 

Advocacy Alert! New! Ask Senators to sign Dear Appropriator letters for FY19 LSTA & IAL, #FundLibraries

April 9th Update: Senator Cardin has still not signed on. The deadline for signatures is Wednesday, April 11th. Maryland stands to lose $2.9 million in LSTA Grants to States. Please call or email Senator Cardin today!

April 5th Update: Senator Van Hollen has signed on! Please take a moment to thank him. Senator Cardin still has not signed on, but did sign both letters last year.

 

Original post:

This is a new request for action on the FY19 budget. There are now Dear Appropriator letters circulating in the Senate that ask Senators to preserve at least $210 million in federal funding for libraries, including the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Although the President’s budget proposal recommends the elimination of most federal funding for libraries, Congress has the ability to restore funding and they are currently working out the details of the FY19 budget. Getting enough signatures is key because it demonstrates the importance of and support for preserving library funding.

Neither of Maryland’s Senators have signed on yet. Because Senator Van Hollen serves on the Appropriations Committee, he may not sign a letter to himself. However, it is still important to contact both Senators to ask for their support. Last year, both Senators signed onto both letters. Information about how LSTA and IAL funds are used in Maryland, including updated 2017 information about LSTA funds, is available on the Engage site. Visit the letter tracker for up-to-date information about who has signed on; click on the name to see complete information.

See the ALA Action Center for more details and a links to send email or tweet the Senators. Thanks in advance for your advocacy!

Advocacy Alert! New! Ask Your Rep to sign Dear Appropriator letters for LSTA & IAL, #FundLibraries

March 15th Update: We’re almost there! Here are the results so far:

  • Signed neither letter: Harris, Hoyer
  • Signed LSTA letter only, not IAL: Brown, Cummings, Ruppersberger
  • Signed both LSTA and IAL letters: Delaney, Raskin, Sarbanes – Please use Engage to thank them!

Original post:

This is a new request for action on the FY19 budget. Although the President’s budget proposal recommends the elimination of most federal funding for libraries, Congress has the ability to restore funding and they are currently working out the details of the FY19 budget. There are now Dear Appropriator letters circulating in the House that ask Representatives to preserve at least $210 million in federal funding for libraries, including the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Getting enough signatures is key because it demonstrates the importance of and support for preserving library funding.

None of Maryland’s Representatives have signed on yet. Because Representatives Harris and Ruppersberger both serve on the Appropriations Committee, it is unlikely that they will sign a letter to themselves. However, it is still important to contact them to ask for their support because they can choose to include LSTA and IAL in their list of funding priorities. As the Minority Whip, Representative Hoyer also typically does not sign onto letters, but it is just as important to let him know about our funding needs. Visit the letter tracker for up-to-date information about who has signed on; click on the name to see complete information.

The deadline to sign on is March 19th. Last year, Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Raskin and Sarbanes signed onto both the LSTA and IAL letters. Ruppersberger included LSTA and IAL on his list of funding priorities. Only Harris and Hoyer did not sign on.

See the ALA Action Center for more details and a links to send email or tweet your Representative. Thanks in advance for your advocacy!

 

Advocacy Alert! Federal Library Funding Cut in FY 2019 Proposal

The FY19 federal budget proposal includes no funding for libraries. The American Library Association Washington Office (ALA-WO) is planning multiple advocacy approaches. See below for more information and the first step that you can take to advocate for funding. A status update on the FY18 budget is also provided.

What Happened

This week, the White House released its budget proposal for FY2019. As we anticipated, the budget proposed a significant cut to federal library funding. The administration’s budget proposal eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides approximately $183 million in direct funding to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The budget proposal also eliminates the $27 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy program administered by the Department of Education.

Why It Matters

These proposed cuts would impact many libraries across the country. While public and school libraries would see the largest effects, academic libraries with state-funded databases are also implicated. Since each state is required to match one-third of their federal LSTA grants, any cut to LSTA in the FY2019 budget is likely to lead to a cut on the state level. In addition, the cuts to IAL specifically target school library funding, which will make it harder for vulnerable schools to acquire the books, resources, and training needed to provide high-quality literacy programs for their students.

Wait, What Happened to the FY 2018 Budget?

Last week, Congress passed and the president signed an FY2018 budget deal that will likely include at least level funding for federal library programs at FY 2017 levels. While this budget agreement is a positive step towards resolving the FY 2018 budget, Congress will still be working on the final spending bill for a few more weeks. The ALA Washington Office will continue to monitor progress on the bill.

What You Can Do Now

Congress will have the final say on budget allocations for these programs in the FY2019 budget. Now is the time to let them know how important federal library funding is to their constituents. Use the ALA Action Center to send your Representatives an email  and ask for their public support of library funding throughout the FY2019 appropriations cycle.

This will be a many-step process and we will need your help at key times along the way. Stay tuned for updates.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!

 


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