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Legislative Bulletin from NMLA

The following message is from Joe Sabatini, Co-Chair of the NMLA Legislation Committee:NMLA Logo

The New Mexico Library Association invites library supporters to attend Legislative Day on January 28th.  Attendees will make contact with their local legislators. Librarians will also be recognized during opening ceremonies in each chamber. Delegations representing types of libraries and geographical areas will be introduced in the Senate by Senator Bill Soules and in the House by Representative Deborah Armstrong. Library supporters should gather in the galleries for these ceremonies, which occur soon after the session opens. We do not yet have the times for these ceremonies, but they will be posted on information kiosks in the Capitol lobby.  The likely time will be between 10:00 and 11:00 am. Participants who arrive before then have a better chance of actually visiting with their legislators in their offices or as they attend their 8:00 am committee meetings.

A Legislation Committee member will be in the west end of the Rotunda. (Near the sculpture of Governor David Cargo). We will provide yellow “Support Libraries” buttons and general information.

Bring with you any information about your library and its needs, which you
can leave off at individual legislative offices. Senate and  House member
offices are shown at

http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/lcsdocs/RepresentativeOfficeAndPhone.pdf
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/lcsdocs/SenatorOfficeAndPhone.pdf

The NMLA Legislation Committee is giving its highest priority to the placement of a General Obligation Bond Issue for libraries on the November 2016 statewide election ballot. The G.O. Bond bill will originate in the Senate and likely be introduced by Senator Carlos Cisneros of Taos County.  Once again, as in the last seven elections, this bond has the potential to make a huge difference to all New Mexico libraries, large and small.  All New Mexico citizens from kindergarteners to senior citizens will benefit from funds included in this GO Bond.

Legislation Committee members Joe Sabatini, Cynthia Shetter and Lynette Shurdevin met  with Representative Jason Harper, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will hear the G.O. Bond bill in the House. The meeting was set up by NMLA Legislative Advocate Larry Horan. We reviewed the history and impact of previous bond issues, and presented our draft of library bond legislation.  We learned that the Legislative Finance Committee will be recommending that the 2016 G.O. bond bill allocates $10 million for libraries. In addition, the LFC is recommending $ 5 million for the Public Education Department for school busses and possibly technology, $133.5 million to the Higher Education Department for academic building construction, $14 million for public safety and $24 million for Senior Centers. We do not yet know what the LFC will recommend for each type of library. We provided Rep. Harper with a suggested distribution similar in percentages with the 2014 bond. This could be $ 3.1 million each for public, academic and public school libraries, and $700,000 for tribal libraries.

If you have further questions, please contact Joe Sabatini.

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