2000 “Veto SB571” Signatures in 24 Hours
EveryLibrary delivers 2,000 “Veto SB 571” signatures to Governor Snyder
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Contact: John Chrastka, 312-574-0316, [email protected]
Lansing, MI - In the last 24 hours, over 2,000 librarians, library board members, library Friends, and concerned citizens from around Michigan and across the country have signed a petition asking Governor Rick Snyder to “Veto SB 571”.
EveryLibrary, a national organization for libraries, started the petition drive in response to language in the bill that would criminalize library employees and library boards for sharing any information about their own ballot measures in the last 60 days before an election.
“If SB 571 becomes law it creates a permanent gag order about elections on librarians and library boards. These provisions that criminalize or penalize the sharing of factual information about a library’s own election were inserted into SB 571 at the last minute,” says John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary. “It needs to be returned to the legislature and fixed. SB 571 is unacceptable for Michigan because it reduces transparency in elections by prohibiting library employees and boards from answering factual questions from the people they serve. Governor Snyder should not allow SB 571 as it’s written to become law.”
SB 571 will prohibit public libraries from conducting a core part of their public trust: sharing information. It is the responsibility of librarians to inform the public about what the tax, policy, and service impacts will be if their library’s referendum passes, and what the implications are if the referendum fails.
SB 571 will reduce transparency and create an unconstitutional barrier to the public’s right to know. EveryLibrary stands with these 2,017 signatories delivered today and dozens of organizations including the Michigan Library Association, the Michigan Association of School Boards, and the Michigan Townships Association in calling on Governor Snyder to Veto SB 571. For more about EveryLibrary’s petition to the Governor and to view the live list of signatures, visit http://bit.ly/vetoSB571.
About EveryLibrary - EveryLibrary is the first national 501c4 for libraries and is focused on supporting library communities on community engagement around library elections. Since 2013, EveryLibrary has provided direct, pro-bono assistance and advising to 33 library communities across the country for referendum, bond, mill levy, and other tax measure elections, including 4 in Michigan, Our work has helped secure over $64 million in stable tax funding for libraries. Visit http://everylibrary.org for more information.
View the live petition and signatories to date