Library Legislative Bulletin #3

| January 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

ATTEND N.M.L.A. LEGISLATIVE DAY THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 27th

Librarians will be recognized during opening ceremonies in each chamber. Delegations
representing types of libraries and geographical areas will be introduced in the Senate by
Senator Bill Soules and in the House by Representative Deborah Armstrong.

Library supporters should gather in the galleries for these ceremonies, which occur soon after
the session opens. We do not yet have the times for these ceremonies, but they will be posted
on information kiosks in the Capitol lobby.  The likely time will be between 10:00 and 11:00am.
Participants who arrive before then have a better chance of actually visiting with their
legislators in their offices or as they attend their 8:00 am committee meetings. The public
parking lot west of the Capitol fills up early.

Legislation Committee members will be available at the NMLA table by the west entrance to
the Rotunda to provide information and distribute yellow “Support Libraries” buttons and
general information.

Bring with you any information about your library and its needs, which you can leave off at
individual legislative offices. Senate and  House member offices are shown at
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator
Click on “Office and Phone List”

The NMLA Legislation Committee is giving its highest priority to the preservation of state
grants-in-aid to public and tribal libraries.  These could be reduced as part of the State’s
efforts to overcome its budget shortfall. Reductions in funding for public and higher education
could also affect library programs and services.

BILLS INTRODUCED

The General Appropriations Act was introduced as Senate Bill 130, by Senator John Arthur
Smith.This bill is substantially the same as the budget recommendation of the Legislative FinanceCommittee.

The budget recommendation for the State Library includes an appropriation of $1,245,200 for
“Other” (i.e., non-personnel and non-contract services)  state expenditures. In FY 2016-17,
state grants-in-aid to public and to tribal libraries were allocated $877,500 from the “Other”
budget line. With the state’s difficult revenue situation, the library community needs to
emphasise the importance of maintaining grants in aid at their current levels. In many
libraries grants-in-aid are the major or only support for media budgets, equipment and
continuing education. For the libraries in our smallest communities, state grants-in-aid make
the difference between being open or having no library or public internet service in those
communities.

No local capital outlay projects have been posted on the website.

COMMITTEE HEARINGS

The Department of Cultural Affairs budget is scheduled to be heard by the House
Appropriations and Finance Committee on Thursday, February 9 in Room 307 beginning at
1:30 pm. DCA is sixth on the agenda; however agendas can change at the last minute. As we
did with the Legislative Finance Committee hearing in November, a large turnout by the
library community will demonstrate our support for the State Library’s budget request.

Joe Sabatini, Co-chair Legislation Committee, New Mexico Library Association

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Category: Legislative Update

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