Monday, April 25, 2011

Legislative Update

From Elaine Keefe, lobbyist for MLA and MEMO:

Tomorrow legislators return from their Passover/Easter break.  The May 23 adjournment deadline is just 4 weeks from today, and much work is left to be done.  Hearing schedules are jam packed this week because the first deadline for policy bills to pass out of committee is this Friday, April 29. 

Legacy:  The House Legacy Funding Division will meet on both Tuesday and Wednesday this week to consider amendments to the Arts and Cultural Heritage article of the omnibus Legacy bill.  A final vote on the bill will be held on Wednesday.

The Senate Environment Committee will hear SF 1040, our bill requesting $5 million per year over the next two years from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund for regional public libraries, on Tuesday afternoon.  There are 34 bills on the agenda, so our testimony will necessarily be brief.

Maintenance of Effort (MOE):  On Wednesday the House Governmental Operations Committee will hear two mandate relief bills authored by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R - Mazeppa).  Both HF 7 and HF 519 repeal library MOE and the minmum level of local support as well as many other requirements on local governments, including pay equity.   HF 519 also repeals the requirement that law library fees paid by plaintiffs and defendents be used to support the county law library.  I plan to testify against both bills. 

Governor's Workforce Development Council (GWDC):  HF 844, our bill requiring the Governor to appoint a public library advisor to the GWDC, will be heard in the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee on Thursday, April 28.  Kit Hadley of the St. Paul Public Library will testify. 

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