Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Legislative Action Item: Save Net Neutrality

As you may have seen from the ALA Washington Office and via our very own ILA, net neutrality is on the precipice of extinction. The five FCC commissioners will vote on the matter on December 14, 2017.

Let your voice be heard! Email your elected Congressperson using the form available from ALA here.

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Legislative Update, 11/10/2017

Federal News:

ALA submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the Department’s plans to monitor and collect information from U.S. immigrants’ social media accounts. In the letter, ALA representatives write that the proposal is “quite excessive and thus an invasion of privacy.” For more details, visit the District Dispatch.

In national, but not strictly legislative, news … Read comments submitted by the MLA to the NLM regarding the Request for Information (RFI) on Next Generation Data Science Challenges in Health and Biomedicine. MLA recommends working with the NLM to develop a Data Sciences Specialization as part of a training program for health science librarians. Additional strategic partnerships are also recommended. Read a summary of the comments via the MLA News blog.

Want to actively participate in democracy? Try the 5 Calls app. Choose from a list of active legislative issues and be prompted with background information and a phone number to reach your local representative. One current topic is “Demand the FCC maintain net neutrality,” but see also the issues listed under Healthcare.

Illinois News:

SB 851 (amendment to the Illinois Local Library Act / property tax freeze proposal) passed the House.  However it was not voted on in the Senate and the veto session has now closed.  The Illinois Library Association is opposed to this amendment.  Thanks to those who contacted their senators and representatives!

The Illinois Library Association’s Illinois Advocacy Committee has just re-booted the Illinois Libraries Matter blog.  Check out their latest post!

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Legislative Update, 10/12/2017


The MLA encourages sending thanks to those senators who are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Their FY2018 bill funds the NLM at $420.9 million, more than the “at least $412 million” recommended by the MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force. Contact Illinois Senator Dick Durbin to thank him for his work on the FY2018 bill.

The MLA and American Association of Law Libraries submitted recommendations concerning the Federal Depository Library Program regarding modernization of public access to government information. A summary and link to the recommendations are available from the MLA. ALA President Jim Neal also provided comments; read more about his input from the District Dispatch.


There are a few acts moving through the Illinois legislature that may be of interest:

HB4109 was filed on October 6th and amends the EMS Systems Act related to stroke care and evidence-based guidelines.  More information at

HB4096 was filed in September and has been adding sponsors for the past few weeks.  This bill amends the Medical Assistance Article of the Illinois Public Aid Code related to pharmaceuticals. More information at

HB0339 was filed way back in January and has not seen much action but has just added another sponsor.  This bill amends the Salaries Act and decreases the salaries of several political offices including the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and many more.  More information at

HR0631 was filed on October 10th and congratulates Dr. Sharon Smaga for receiving the “2017 Rural Physician of Excellence Award” from the Illinois Rural Health Association.  More information at

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Legislative Update – 09/22/17


The Senate Committee on Appropriations’ FY18 Labor, HHS, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill was approved earlier this month. Of note, NIH funding would increase $2.0 billion, to $36.1 billion. Funding for the National Library of Medicine would increase $21 million to $420.9 million. The IMLS budget would increase $4 million, to $235 million, funding that is exclusively for the Grants to States program. While an earlier FY18 budget proposed by the Trump administration would cut NIH funding by 18% and the IMLS by 100%, grassroots campaigns have led to congressional support of healthcare and libraries. More on library funding is reported in this piece from the District Dispatch.

There again is movement in Congress to overhaul healthcare legislation. The Congressional Record provides a transcript of these discussions, including this report from Sept. 18, 2017. The bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017. provides information on the proposed GOP health care bills, although at the time of writing this post, the site has not been updated to reflect current legislative action. The Washington Post provides more current coverage. Congress has until September 30 to pass this bill with 50 votes.

IT modernization in the Copyright Office is moving forward, under the direction of Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. The Modified U.S. Copyright Office Provisional IT Modernization Plan was released earlier this month. Read a synopsis of these efforts as reported by the District Dispatch.



If you haven’t tried the LegiScan website, you definitely should.  LegiScan tracks legislation in all 50 states and on the federal level.  It creates an easy to read dashboard of what is going on and points to the details for each new bill and/or amendment.  See the Illinois Dashboard here.  It is much easier to work with than the General Assembly website for keeping up on all of the legislation being discussed.

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Legislative Update, 8/30/2017


New legislation in the Senate and House would have a positive impact, if passed, on libraries. The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, S. 1689, would shift drug enforcement away from marijuana prosecution. Funds saved would, in part, be channeled to community grant funding opportunities for public library programming. The Educator Preparation Reform Act, S. 1694 and H.R. 3636, would expand to allow financial assistance to school librarians and paraprofessionals to seek job development and training.


A few interesting news items from Illinois:

From the State Journal-Register –

Latest on the Abraham Lincoln Museum & Library:

New pharmacy information/counseling rules going into effect:

School funding bill is headed to the Governor’s desk:

From the Illinois Health & Hospital Association –

IHA supports Refinancing Illinois’ debt:

IHA Summary of Spring 2017 legislation:

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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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