Activity at the Capitol is brisk. Legislators appear to be taking advantage of the final few weeks before their November deer hunting break to introduce new legislation. MLA and GCSI lobbyists are carefully reviewing these for any impact on our libraries. We continue to meet regularly with legislators to educate them about libraries and explain how their legislation can affect their local library.
Once again legislators are back in session until their two-week break starting November 14. It looks as though millages and DDAs are taking center stage for the fall and MLA and lobbyist GCSI are meeting with legislators to talk about these issues. Our concern, of course, is the continued assault on library funding.
First some positive news. As we reported earlier, Rep. Amanda Price (R - Holland) has agreed to sponsor a bill amending the District Library Establishment Act. The bill would ensure that if one of the localities associated with the District Library decides to disincorporate, it would not impact the ability of the District Library to continue existence. We are awaiting the bill draft from the Legislative Service Bureau.
With back to school comes back to Lansing for our legislators. Session begins in September and our lobbyist GCSI is already lining up meetings with Representatives and Senators so we can talk about issues important to libraries. As always, one of those issues is funding and more specifically millages. We worked last year to make sure our elected officials were aware of the huge dollars being funneled away from libraries via DDAs and TIFAs. Again this year, we plan to address some solutions for this financial drain to our libraries.
Legislators are in and out this month. Although session has been scheduled on various days, work appears sporadic. We are watching closely for new legislation that may come out of the summer session.
There is continued exploration of the tax capture issue by members of the Michigan legislature. You may recall that earlier this spring, the House Tax Policy Committee expressed some interest in this issue when legislation was addressing the illegal capture of Detroit Zoo and DIA millage by certain Wayne County local government TIFA capturing entities. The Chair indicated at that time that he may form a subcommittee to review the tax capture.
It seems there is some unfinished business in Lansing these days. The governor did not get his road repair or Medicaid reform passed. The legislature had on its list to address unsustainable school district dissolution, indigent defense, career tech options and of course fireworks. They left for their districts without tackling some of these important bills. In addition, intermediate school districts have already submitted requests for more than the $65 million in additional funding slated for the Office of Great Start and early reading programs.