MLA +ITEM Legislative Update Newsletter 2018 (#1)

Legislative Update Newsletter

This is your *new* source for updates on Minnesota library legislative activities. 

This newsletter is the way MLA & ITEM members will receive legislative updates from Sam Walseth of Capitol Hill Associates. Capitol Hill Associates is the lobbying firm representing MLA, ITEM, the multicounty multitype library systems, & the regional public library systems at the Minnesota Legislature.

In addition to the updates from Sam, the newsletter will offer announcements of events, advocacy tips, templates for phone messages/email, news about legislative activities including Legislative Day (March 6, 2018), Legislative Forum (August 8, 2018), and other news & information you can use in your advocacy efforts. It will include updates on national library issues, too.

The mailing schedule is intermittent–it depends on what is going on at the Legislature and how it affects libraries. During the session–which starts February 20, 2018–you can expect to receive these updates weekly or more often if there an urgent message.

You can unsubscribe to this newsletter (see links below), but we hope you will not. This newsletter is a benefit of membership in MLA and ITEM. Library advocacy is the responsibility of everyone who works in a library. By reading this newsletter, understanding the legislative process, & responding to requests to contact your legislators you can make an important contribution to the well-being of Minnesota libraries.


Update from Sam Walseth
Capitol Hill Associates
Governor Releases $1.5 Billion Bonding Proposal
Jan 16, 2108
Governor Dayton released his 2018 bonding bill today and it totals $1.5 billion in general obligations bonds and appropriation bonds. Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) Commissioner Myron Frans noted the proposal will leverage an additional $570 million in federal, local and private funds making the proposal a $2 billion investment in Minnesota’s capital infrastructure.

The Governor accepted a request from the MN Department of Education (MDE) to fund $2.5 million to for Library Construction and Renovation grants. While this is a good place for us to start the 2018 session we face an uphill battle to get a bonding bill passed and signed into law. Competition for bonding dollars is always fierce. There were over $3.3 billion in requests submitted to the Governor’s office ($2.5 billion from state agencies and $831 million from local governments). For more details on the Governor’s bonding proposal:

Start Planning for Legislative Day!
March 6, 2018
Legislative Day is the designated day for MLA & ITEM members, library supporters & others to visit their legislators to extol them with the importance of libraries to their communities. It is March 6, 2018, with a briefing March 5 (repeated on March 6).

Getting Ready
1. Make appointments with your legislators. Many regional public library systems & multitype systems coordinate appointments to facilitate the day. Get in touch with your systems to see how it works in your region.
2. Read the MLA/ITEM Legislative Platform. Know and understand what we are asking for this year.
3. Read the Talking Points on the issues. This will help you be prepared to talk about the issues & why MLA & ITEM support them.
4. Write a brief script (don’t read it to your legislator!) to get your words in order. Include the Ask in your planning–we want an increase in funding for the regional and multitype library systems! Practice what you will say.
5. Ask questions! If you are unsure of the process, the Platform, or other legislative activities you can email and we will help you.

You can find a whole lot more–tips for the day, talking points for the platform, the Platform itself–at the NEW Minnesota Library Advocacy web site.

Click Here to Register for Legislative Day Now!
March 5 Schedule
Roseville Library
2180 North Hamline Ave
Roseville, MN 55113
Google Maps

4:30pm Registration
5:00pm Lobbyist Briefing

Pick up print materials (Platform, Talking Points…)
6:00pm Join others for dinner


March 6 Schedule
L’Etoile du Nord (B-15)
Lower Level State Capitol 

8:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast
Pick up print materials (Platform, Talking Points…)

9:00am Lobbyist Briefing
10-3 Library Info Fair
10-4 Thank You Note Station


Can’t attend in person? Watch for our newsletter about
Minnesota Libraries Virtual Legislative Week
March 5-9! 

There are many ways to participate in that event!
Learn more here.

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