Legislative Session Update
The Session isn’t over so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the Ready To Read Grant Program funding will be completely restored to last year’s level. We had excellent support in the committee work session that led to a handshake agreement with the co-chairs of Ways and Means that funding would be restored. Some of the cuts had already made it into the budget. THANKS to all of you who have contacted your legislators and made the case for this excellent program.
Katie Anderson (State Library) and Stephanie Lind (Washington County) participated in a mini legislative day for early childhood programs. Due to these efforts, it looks like Healthy Families Oregon and Preschool Promise will likely face no cuts in the 2017-19 budget, regardless of what happens with revenue. Key legislators also indicated that Early Learning Hubs and Kindergarten Partnership Fund would receive no more than a 10% cut (rather than the 20% cut proposed originally. For those libraries that work with these programs, be sure to mention this to your local legislator.
Here’s a quick recap on other issues that the OLA LIbrary Development and Legislative Committee and our lobbyists, Nan Heim and Amanda Dalton, followed or are still following this session.
- SB 75 Expansion of Ready to Read to cover 0-17. This died with OLA’s knowledge. There wasn’t any money to fund the expansion.
- SB 123 Children’s districts – This is still in play. There was a hearing on June 15th in the Revenue Committee with support and opposition. If passed, it could put more jurisdictions into compression and have an impact on library districts.
- SB 822 Post notice on copiers, scanners that information may be digitally stored: This died. The new generation of equipment deletes this information or just doesn’t store it. It’s worth checking your library’s copiers and scanners to make sure they don’t store information.
- SB 1002 Private tutors access to schools and libraries. Libraries are now exempted. The School Districts are strongly opposing it. Amendments propose more focus on private tutors for dyslexia.
- HB 2729 Open Ed Resources for Higher Ed: This is in Ways and Means waiting for funding. OLA’s letter of support is in the record.
- HB 3191 Summer Learning: This appears to have died..
- SB 787 Curry, Coos, Douglas & Josephine special district carve out: This died. It would have potentially affected library special districts.
- HB 3455 Age 3 to Grade 4 Reading Initiative: This was just introduced by Mark Johnson and co-sponsored by Bueller. There was an informational meeting on June 12th but not further action yet.
- HB 2813 Online privacy protection for customers of broadband Internet access service providers: There was a work session in late May, but it’s not clear where this is going. OLA supports it.