Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

From the ALA Advocacy Office:

With only a few weeks left in this congressional session, we are facing serious threats focused on the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress.

Next Tuesday [12/4/18], the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (S. 1010), a Senate companion to House bill (H.R. 1695) will be voted on by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, in spite of previous concerns by committee members.

This legislation removes the hiring authority of the Copyright Register from the Librarian of Congress to the president. It would politicize the Register’s position to the public’s detriment and slow the critically needed modernization of the Copyright Office. The bill also grants the president power to fire the appointee at any time. Further, while the Senate would at least retain the power to confirm the nominee, the House would no longer have any influence on the selection process.

ALA strongly opposes this bill. We need you to contact your U.S. Senators to express your personal opposition and ask them to vote against it.

While the Senate Rules and Administration Committee might not vote in our favor on Tuesday, we must make sure they hear from us. Please send an email today.

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Legislative Update – 11/30/2018

Federal news

Some post-election headlines include focus on news related to health care:

Psychiatric nurse-turned politician, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will chair the House science committee. Nurse Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and pediatrician Kim Schrier (D-WA) are both eyeing seats on one of two health care policy panels.

With control of Congress split (Democrats control the House; Republicans the Senate), no dramatic changes in health policy are anticipated, accepting the veto of Republican-backed initiatives (repealing the ACA, converting Medicaid into block grants, and making significant changes to Medicare). Medicaid will likely expand in several states that have not yet offered this ACA coverage. Lowering prescription drug prices might be up for negotiation.

State news

There are a few items of interest to libraries moving through the State Legislature right now.  You may want to keep your eye on SB3242 which Amends the Property Tax Code regarding homestead exemptions and SB2365 which makes a technical change in the Freedom of Information Act.

ILA’s Top Ten Quick Advocacy Tip #2: Do your homework.

ILA Annual Conference “Learn Effective Advocacy to Legislators from Legislators” Session Insights: State Congressman Spain and State Senator Weaver agreed that you should do your homework before approaching them on an issue.  You should:

  • Know the name and number of the legislation but give context to the issue too.  Don’t expect them to remember all of the bill, act, and resolution numbers.
  • Think about where they are on the issue and look for points on which you can agree with them.
  • Be able to explain the arguments against your point of view and help them understand how to respond to those arguments.
  • Always be as concise as possible.

Bonus tip: At the session, Senator Weaver explained that he likes to use the “citizen legislator” model.  When he finds a committed and passionate citizen and agrees with their stance on an issue, he is willing to provide the support that they need.  However, this means that the citizen does hours of research, drafting, promoting, and other background work.  He meets with them to review, point out holes, approve, walk them through the process, etc.  All of his work is done in meetings with the citizen. Each meeting you’ll likely go home with homework to present the next time you meet with him.  And be forewarned, this is a major commitment.  It takes a long time and a lot of work to draft legislation and move it through the State Congress.

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(via Gwen Gregory, University of Illinois at Chicago)

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the ALA Policy Corps. The deadline for applications is November 16. The Corps initiative aims to strengthen advocacy related to key national library policy areas–ranging from broadband equity and copyright, to federal funding and STEM education, to privacy and cybersecurity.

The first Policy Corps cohort included two Illinoisans, Jenna Nemec-Loise from North Shore Country Day School and Qiana Johnson from Northwestern University. Please consider applying yourself and share this announcement with colleagues who would be interested in joining the corp. The deadline for applications is November 16.

Posted in American Library Association (ALA), Calls and Requests, Legislation, Library Organizations | No Comments »

Legislative Update, 11/06/2018

Today is election day!

In celebration, a story from Science magazine:

The ‘political’ scientists: Dozens of scientists ran for U.S. Congress. On the eve of the general election, 18 are still standing (including representation in the health sciences!)

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(via Gwen Gregory, University of Illinois at Chicago, on behalf of Dr. Kara Malenfant, ACRL)

Last year, then-ALA President Jim Neal announced the call for applicants to join the inaugural cohort of the ALA Policy Corps. A dozen advocates (including academic librarians from Northwestern University and Peninsula College) were selected from across the nation to build our capacity to advocate on key policy issues on behalf of the library community–from federal funding to network neutrality to copyright and fair use. We are now ready to grow our numbers and continue our work to strengthen policymaking.

You can learn more and apply from the Corps home page.  “Expanding and deepening policy engagement at all levels of government is essential for advancing library priorities more quickly and successfully,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “We are stronger together as we establish national policy library advocates across the country.”

Training and opportunities to participate in targeted policy advocacy work will be provided to participants. The application window is only open through November 16, so we want to make sure we get the word widely, particularly where we can build on existing division and ALA leadership programs and opportunities. We welcome you to apply and to help us get the word out to colleagues with a passion to advance state and national priorities for libraries and the communities we serve.

Thank you! If you have other questions, please reach out to Larra Clark at or Alan Inouye at

Posted in American Library Association (ALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Calls and Requests, Legislation, Library Organizations | No Comments »

Legislative Update, 10/23/2018


The EPA continues to be in the news. During a Senate panel meeting to discuss the “transparency proposal,” which would limit the use of scientific studies in creating regulations to those with publically-available data, a scientist spoke to another provision in the proposal. This provision is to reconsider the assumption that exposure to small amounts of toxic substances or radiation is harmful. Read more in Science magazine.

A panel of scientific experts working with the EPA to update air quality standards were fired by Andrew Wheeler, acting chief of the EPA. Instead, a smaller committee “made up mostly of his appointees” will be officiating the process. This has raised concern that the industry voice will be favored in the crafting of the updated standards. Science magazine has the full story.


The Illinois Library Association’s (ILA) Advocacy Committee held a very informative session at the recent ILA Annual Conference.  The title of the session was “Learn Effective Advocacy to Legislators from Legislators” and both State Senator Chuck Weaver and State Representative Ryan Spain were panelists.  During the session, the congressmen were frank about what works and what doesn’t and commented on ILA’s Top Ten Quick Advocacy Tips.

ILA’s Tip #1: Get to know your local public officials BEFORE you need their help.

Session Insights: Both congressmen were very much in agreement about this.  They encouraged us to come up to them and introduce ourselves at events, town halls, etc. before we have an issue that we want to discuss.  They also said that they are always looking for places to hold public meetings so offering your library space is a great way to meet them and make a good first impression.

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Legislative Action Item: Support the Reauthorization of IMLS

From our friends at ALA, bills supporting the reauthorization of the IMLS have been introduced in the House and Senate.

Please contact your House and Senate representatives to ask for their support of this legislation (H.R. 6988; S. 3530).

As reported in American Libraries:

“The 2018 act continues to support the stated mission of IMLS to inspire libraries to ‘advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement,’ and largely mirrors the previous authorization, with several improvements, including:

  • explicit allowance for grant funds to be used to help libraries prepare for and provide services after a disaster or emergency
  • additional provisions to enable more Native American tribes to participate in IMLS grant programs
  • greater use of data-driven tools to measure the impact and maximize the effectiveness of library services”
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Legislative Update, 10/03/2018

Federal News:

The FY19 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services, which was approved by the House and Senate on Sept 13, 2018, includes:

  • $2 billion increase in funding for NIH
  • $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research
  • $100 million increase for cancer research
  • $86 million increase for All of Us

It does not include:

  • combining three HHS agencies (including AHRQ) into NIH
  • banning NIH funding of research using electively-aborted fetal tissue

Library-related funding includes:

  • $13 million increase for NLM
  • $2 million increase for IMLS
  • $26 million increase for the Library of Congress; level funding for the GPO (passed in a different appropriations bill)

It was noted in the District Dispatch that, while library funding was initially slated to be significantly cut or eliminated, library advocates were successful in promoting the value of libraries to Congress.

More on this story in Science magazine and the District Dispatch.

State News:

JB Pritzker and Gov. Rauner will meet in another debate this Wednesday at 6 p.m. The debate is sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago, the League of Women Voters, and Univision and will air on ABC7 Chicago.  The broadcast will also stream live at although availability will likely be limited.  Candidates Sen. Sam McCann and Grayson Jackson did not meet the predetermined polling level set by the debate sponsors so will not be allowed to participate.



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Legislative Update, 09/07/2018


Funding for the National Library of Medicine increased by $13.5 million in the FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which passed in the Senate on August 23, 2018. A final vote to approve the bill won’t occur until later this year. Read more at the District Dispatch.

ALA and the Association of Research Libraries, along with other proponents of net neutrality, have filed legal briefs against the FCC vote to get rid of net neutrality rules. Read more at the District Dispatch.


Take a look at these recent legislative updates/overviews from our colleagues at the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA).



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Legislative Update, 08/17/2018


  • More information on the ECRI-backed National Guideline Clearinghouse, including financial forecasting, has been posted by MLA. Read more from MLA News.
  • Toxic substance regulation will change if the EPA moves forward with a plan to rely more on industry-backed research than academic studies on asbestos and other toxic chemicals. Read the full story from Science.
  • The EPA is rethinking its understanding of human health in exposure to fine particulates; associated rule-making would be impacted. This effort is in opposition to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Read the full story from Science.
  • ALA is against the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, arguing that fewer people will respond and thus negatively impact the utility of the census. Read more from the District Dispatch.


In case you missed it, the ILA just published the article “Legislative Successes: Governor Signs Two Bills” on their website.

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