Library Legislative Day Turnout
The Library Legislative Day on February 21 was a grand success. Our exhibit in the Capitol’s Galleria showcased children’ books that legislators were invited to peruse and select to be sent to a library in their district. At last count, we had 20 of the 30 senators select books for one of their local libraries. 46 of the 60 representatives selected books. This is probably our best turn out.
(photo of Jane Corry and Elsa Loftis)
Our main lobbying point was to maintain the Ready to Read Grant Program at its current level of $1,465,695 or 94¢ per child. HB 5018 is the State Library budget that includes funding for the program. The Governor’s Budget would cut the program to $978,540 or 67.2¢ per child. This remains significantly below OLA’s goal of $1 per child. So, we talked to legislators about restoring $487,155 to HB 5018. Our timing was excellent as this bill had a public hearing the next day for the joint sub-committee of Ways and Means on General Government. OLA was well represented by Kate Lasky, Buzzy Nielsen and Dawn Borgardt who testified on what the Ready to Read Program means in their communities. The Committee was very responsive and we are hoping for the restoration of the funds. You can watch the whole hearing (fast forwarding through the boring parts) and read the documents online: (scroll down to meetings and choose 2/22/17 to watch the hearing.) We will need to stay tuned to how the budget gets shaped in the months to come.
(Photo of Nancy Nathanson)
Special thanks to all who made the trek to Salem and talked to legislators. We made close to 50 office visits. Those participating included: Kate Lasky, Jamar Ramming, Ellie Hilton, Jessica Arenas, Erica Knotts, Ruth Murray, Alice MacGougan, Stacy Johns, Carol Dinges, Thea Hart, Monica Cooper-McQueen, Eva Calcagno, Sue Luddington, Abigail Elder, David Abbey, Melissa Little, Karen Muller, Stephanie Lind, Peter Leonard, Denise Holms, Natasha Forrester Campbell, Jane Corry, Samantha Pierson, Mathew Brock, Emily Ford, Tony Greiner, Elsa Loftis, Mark Hardin, Tricia Snyder, Todd Dunkelberg, Buzzy Nielsen, Alyssa Bennett, Jane Cothron, Brooke Robertshaw and Kristy Davis. There were more that didn’t sign in or accompanied those who did, so sorry if I missed including you.
Thanks to Casey Campbell for being our official photographer.
Special thank to our OLA lobbyist, Nan Heim, for making this event one that legislators actually like!
If you visited a legislator and haven’t noted it on our appointment calendar, please do so. It helps us track who we’ve talked to.
Janet Webster | co-chair, OLA Library Development and Legislative Committee