Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

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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Legislative Update, 07/20/2018


Appropriations Committees for both the House and Senate have approved level funding for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA; $186.3 million) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program (IAL; $27 million) for FY19. Committees in the House and Senate also approved an increase to NIH funding for FY19 (by $1.25 billion in the House and $2 billion in the Senate). The full House and Senate will need to make final approval by vote before October 1, 2018.

With the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, what is the future of his proposed data policy? Pruitt’s replacement, Andrew Wheeler, may carry the torch, according to this National Resources Defense Council blog post, which is bad news for health professionals: “The rule would block the studies used to set air pollution regulations that will have prevented more than 230,000 premature deaths by 2020…” and “The rule would also block the studies that protect children from lead poisoning in air, water, and soil [and] the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos…”

Curious about the status of net neutrality following the implementation of its repeal on June 11, 2018? Read an update from District Dispatch (states are taking action; the Senate has already voted to repeal; the House is yet to vote, with one House Republican agreeing to sign on so far).


Illinois finances now ‘stable’ according to Moody’s.  Read the State Journal-Register article for more information.

The Healthy Food Program Development Act (HB5332) has been sent to the House Rules Committee.  The program would be a coordinated effort between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity “to expand access to healthy foods in eligible areas in the State by providing assistance to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers markets, and other small food retailers.”

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Legislative Update 06/06/18


The EPA’s Science Advisory Board voted on May 31, 2018 to review two recent proposals by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt: (1) to require that only publicly-available data be used to make environmental regulations, and (2) to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Since public health data are often restricted to protect patient privacy, there is concern regarding the implications for public health policies under this proposed rule. The public comment period, initially slated to close on May 30, is now open until Aug 16. Comments may be submitted here; search for Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259. Read more about this coverage from Nature news and the EPA press release.

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Legislative Update, 05/24/2018


MLA and AAHSL oppose the EPA’s Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science rule. Read the statement they submitted to the EPA. If the EPA rule is instated, loss of information including important datasets on the health impacts of lead may result.

The repeal of net neutrality is slated to go into effect June 11, 2018. Earlier this month, though, the Senate voted to block the FCC’s vote, and while 160 Congresspeople support the CRA, the House still needs to vote on the action. Tell your representative to support network neutrality by using this ALA action alert form.


Want to help keep important pieces of our Illinois and National History in Springfield and available for public display?  You can read this article from the State Journal-Register to find out how you can give and help keep precious Lincoln artifacts in the collections at the Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.  Find out more and check the status of the fund here or contact the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

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Legislative Update 05/04/2018


1) Take action in National Library Legislative Day from home, if you’re not traveling to D.C. for the event next week. Here are the priorities this year:

  • House & Senate: Reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act (S. 2271)
  • House & Senate: Fully Fund LSTA and IAL for FY 2019
  • House & Senate: Visit a library, see broadband access in action

2) Members of Congress have shown support for libraries in recent actions. Two “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting federal library funding for FY19 were signed by as many as or more than the number of Senators who signed last year. Representatives on the Committee on House Administration have approved the Federal Depository Library Program Modernization Act of 2018, which will increase the reach of the FDLP. Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee support the Marrakesh Treaty, which would make 350,000 accessible books available to people in the United States who have print disabilities.

3) Protections afforded by net neutrality are still mostly in place while the FCC seeks approval from the Office of Management and Budget to proceed with their proposed decision. There’s still time to ask your representative to support the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s ruling.

4) The Trump Administration may use the authority of rescission to require Congress to review their FY18 appropriations budget. If this occurs, funding for library and other programs may be at risk. As yet, Senate Republican leaders oppose this action.

5) Chief of the U.S. EPA, Scott Pruitt, is proposing a policy to limit research used by government scientists when making new “significant” regulations to only using studies whose data are publicly available. An analysis of the proposal by the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests scientists had little input on the crafting of this legislation, and many oppose the action.


Visit Legiscan to see a summary/status for these Illinois Bills currently working their way through the State Legislature:

  • HB5235: Amends the Freedom of Information Act
  • SB2727: Amends the Illinois Local Library Act
  • SB2849: Creates the Prescription Drug Repository Program Act
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Legislative Update 04/13/2018


Congressional Research Service reports, prepared for members and committees of Congress, will soon be available on a free public website within 90 days of creation. Prior to the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill that was signed into law on March 23, 2018, the CRS was not mandated to make this publicly-funded research openly available, although groups like the Federation of American Scientists and Demand Progress maintain online repositories for these reports. ALA has been advocating for making the CRS reports publicly available for the past 20 years. Medical librarians might be especially interested in the CRS Health Policy reports.

From the ALA/ACRL:
“[We] ask academic librarians to advocate to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote approval for the U.S. to sign the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty is the international copyright treaty that was adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It provides a copyright exception — the first ever in an international treaty — for libraries as authorized entities to make accessible copies of articles and books for people with print disabilities and distribute those copies across borders.

With the push for funding for public and school libraries it was felt that it would be best to ask the academic librarians to start the effort on the Marrakesh Treaty. We’ll be getting back to Chapters as a whole when it is time to ask for a larger effort on it.”


Here are several recent articles from The State Journal-Register that may be of interest.

Bills requiring more disease outbreak reporting clear House committee

Illinois Senate approves Equal Rights Amendment

Teens encouraged to sign up for organ donation registry

Illinois House panel OKs net neutrality proposal

Statehouse bill would gut law protecting biometric data, opponents say

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Legislative Update, 03/27/2018


Congress passed an appropriations bill for FY18! What does this mean for medical libraries?
– NIH will receive $37 billion, an 8.8% increase from FY17 funding.
– NLM will receive $428.5 million, an increase of 5% from FY17 levels.
– The IMLS will receive $240 million, up 3.9% from FY17.
Read more from the MLA and ALA.

Take action! What’s a week without a call to your congressional representative’s office? Dear Appropriator letters are circulating amongst Senators for the federal FY19 budget. Ask your Senator to support federal library funding.

Both the MLA and ALA support the Federal Depository Library Program Modernization Act of 2018, which would improve public access to and preservation of digital government information. This act was introduced to Congress on March 15, 2018 and has bipartisan support.

Upcoming events:
National Library Week in Washington, D.C., April 8-14, 2018
National Library Legislative Day, May 7-8, 2018

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