Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Legislative Update, 08/09/2017


Bills promoting open access to federally funded research and electronic communications privacy have been introduced in Congress. Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, or FASTR, H.R. 3427, would provide public access to research published from every federal agency that significantly funds research. This bill strengthens and expands previous legislation, requiring online access be made available more quickly. In the Senate, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Modernization Act of 2017 would require a warrant for authorities to access emails, geo-location information in cell phones, documents in the cloud, and other electronic communication records. This bill builds on the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 387, passed in the House earlier this year.

More on FASTR and the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 is available from the District Dispatch.

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Legislative Update, 7/21/2017


The Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of (which was later amended to a 90% cut to) IMLS funding for FY18 may not be realized. House appropriations committees voted on July 13 and July 19 for level funding of IMLS in FY18. Funding for additional library programs, namely the Library Services and Technology Act and Innovative Approaches to Literacy, are expected to remain stable, as well. The House Appropriations Committee also approved a $20 million increase in funding for the NLM, to $413.9 million for FY18. House and Senate appropriations votes likely won’t occur until the fall, in September or later. Read more about ALA’s Fight for Libraries! campaign.

Following up on the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, which took place July 12, 2017, read comments submitted to the FCC by ALA.

Legislative debate continues on replacing or simply repealing the Affordable Care Act. Congress so far has been unable to reach a critical mass of support for either action. Senator John McCain’s recent diagnosis of brain cancer will likely further slow congressional action on the healthcare debate. This recent news article from Reuters provides a current report.


If you feel like letting your state legislators know that you appreciate their work to pass the recent budget, here is some advice along with letter templates from the Illinois Health and Hospital Association:

New Under the Dome podcast available from the State Journal-Register:

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Legislative Action Item: Today — Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality

On July 12, 2017, ALA is joining almost 200 organizations in a Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality in response to the FCC’s vote to roll back net neutrality regulations established in 2015.

Resources to participate in the Day of Action are available from ALA’s website. You can also send an email to the FCC in support of net neutrality.

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Legislative Update, 07/07/2017


The American Health Care Act of 2017 is still under debate. Recent news coverage explores the costs of health care. Read this story on premiums and beyond from Politico, and look at this opinion piece comparing health-care spending across ten countries, including the U.S., from Bloomberg View.

Continuing the discussion surrounding the authority of appointing the Register of Copyright, members of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration is holding back on naming the President as the authority (after legislation was approved to shift this responsibility to the President from the Librarian of Congress by the House in May 2017). Rules Committee members want to approach Copyright Office modernization more broadly before taking any individualized action. This legislative update from CR&L News outlines the positive actions Carla Hayden has taken since being appointed as Librarian of Congress.

For those interested in tracking IMLS funding, access their Funding Reports by State. Data are available for FY2011-FY2016.


As you have probably already heard, the state of Illinois finally has a budget!  If you want to dig through all of the details, you can access Public Act 100-0021 for the final version or access Senate Bill 6 for the historical perspective including changes, voting dates, etc.

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Legislative Update, 06/19/2017


Curious about what’s on the table with the American Health Care Act of 2017? The act narrowly passed in the House on May 4, 2017, with a vote of 217 – 213. Now, Republicans in the Senate have hopes to get a health care bill passed by July 4. Read about H.R. 1628 AHCA 2017 at The section titled What’s the Bottom Line? has a quick summary of how the AHCA will impact individuals.

Paul Spitalnic, Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provides this June 13, 2017 memorandum: Estimated Financial Effect of the AHCA 2017.


We still remain without a budget in Illinois.  Our representatives and senators will go back into session on June 21st.  So now would be a good time to contact them and let them know how you are feeling about the situation and what you as a registered voter think that they should do.

If you need to, you can look up your Illinois senator or representative using this tool.

Unfortunately if you prefer electronic communication, the tool doesn’t always include a website or e-mail address so you may have to google them once you have the name.

As the funding situation keeps getting bleaker for many of our libraries, there really is no better time to speak up.

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Legislative Update, 06/05/2017

Federal News:

Recently, both medical and library professional associations made statements regarding federal funding.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) and Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries  (AAHSL) recommended funding the NLM at levels of at least $412.1 million in FY18. Their justifications for these recommendations are outlined in this Statement, submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies.

ALA President Julie Todaro responded to the Trump Administration’s FY18 budget proposal in this Statement, in which she documents strong support by Americans for their public, school, academic, and special libraries. Trump’s budget would cut $207 million of $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, according to this Washington Post article. Also noted in the Washington Post article, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health would each see budget cuts of 18%.

The FCC voted on May 18, 2017 to roll back Obama-era Net Neutrality regulations put into place in 2015. Read the FCC news release. Also, view this Net Neutrality fact sheet published by the Internet Association, which illustrates their findings that Net Neutrality does not impede the economy of Internet Service Providers.

A summary of activities surrounding National Library Legislative Day, which was May 1-2, 2017, is available on the District Dispatch.

State News:

Here is the latest on the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library.

And more on the impact of our budget situation.

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Legislative Update, 05/16/2017


Take action to support federal library funding! Contact your senators to sign each of the Reed/Collins LSTA and Reed/Grassley/Stabenow IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters. Senators have until May 19 to sign. President Trump has proposed elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and most all other library funding sources. Read the full story on the District Dispatch.

The Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force met with lawmakers in Washington DC in mid-April. They advocated for continued support in funding the NLM and NIH. Representatives were given fact sheets on NLM resource use, benefits of public access to federally-funded research, and NLM research support. For those attending MLA 2017 in Seattle, look for the Activism in a Time of Turbulence open forum. Read more about the Legislative Task Force’s meeting.

The ACRL Legislative Agenda for 2017 includes four focal issues. In priority order, these are:
(1) Federal funding for libraries
(2) Network neutrality
(3) Access to federally funded research
(4) Privacy and government surveillance
Read about each of these issues and view the Watch List of issues of “great concern” to academic and research libraries, but which have no legislation pending.


Just a couple of news items of interest:

Illinois Senate OKs Internet Privacy Measure” from The State Journal-Register

Monday Bid Deadline Prompts Scramble Among Illinois Insurers, Legislators” from Modern Healthcare

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Legislative Update, 04/26/2017


National Library Legislative Day is right around the corner: May 1-2, 2017. Registration to participate in the Virtual Library Legislative Day is open! You’ll be emailed a reminder and talking points on May 1. Sign up today.

Many library supporters contacted their House representatives over the past few weeks to encourage the signing of two Dear Appropriator letters, supporting funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). With the signatures garnered, support for IAL grew 18% and for LSTA by 64%. Later this month, there will be a call to contact your Senators to support library funding, which is under threat of elimination in the proposed FY18 presidential budget. The full story is at the District Dispatch.


Our Illinois politicians are back in session this week and hopefully working on the budget.  For a quick overview of the state of that budget work and a few big issues being discussed right now, you can check out this article from the State Journal Register: Lawmakers return from spring break; ‘bargain’ remains unresolved.

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Legislative Update, 04/05/2017

Federal: Updates to the FCC privacy rules approved under the Obama administration in October 2016 were repealed last week in Congress. The new resolution allows internet service providers to collect user information and sell it to advertisers without having to obtain the user’s consent. Suggestions to aid librarians in protecting their patrons’ privacy may be found at the District Dispatch.

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) is opposing a bill that would give the President oversight of appointing the Register of Copyrights. Currently, this responsibility is in the domain of the Librarian of Congress. LCA is against this action because it would politicize the appointment, slow action in modernizing the Copyright Office, and decrease accountability due to a proposed 10-year term. Further information is available at the District Dispatch.

State: The House bill (HB 0136) to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library a separate state agency has been voted on by the State Government Administration Committee, which unanimously voted to recommend that the bill be adopted.  The bill has also picked up another Chief Co-Sponsor – Rep. Tim Butler.  Dates have not yet been set for future actions.

An article of interest was recently published in the State Journal Register: $2.2M more in budget cuts could be coming to SIU medical school  The article specifically mentions that the library acquisitions budget is a cut that might be made.


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Legislative Action Item: Support NIH and Library Funding

A “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Susan Davis (D-Calif.) to support funding the NIH “at least $2 billion above the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 enacted level” for FY18. As reported in yesterday’s HSLI legislative blog post, the proposed FY18 budget would decrease NIH funding 18%, from $31.7 billion in 2017 to $25.9 billion in 2018.

To support an NIH funding increase, congressional representatives are being asked to sign this letter by the end of the business day on March 31, 2017. Contact your local representative to encourage their support. Find your representative here. To sign on, state representatives must contact Zach Bunshaft,

Action is additionally being sought in support of funding libraries, which are also at risk of significantly reduced budgetary allocations, along with the proposed elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. More on how to support library funding is available from the District Dispatch. The deadline for action on this initiative is April 3, 2017.

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