LB969 Update from Nebraska
Our colleagues at the Nebraska Library Association published an update today on their Legislative Advocacy Center about how LB969, a bill that would strip all powers from library boards of trustees in the state and politicize the hire/fire, collection development, donations, and records process for libraries across the state, is stalled in the Senate.
As it should be. Your #noLB969 engagement through our petition and in support of NLA's actions are working. Read more about how the ALA and United For Libraries statements have helped keep the pressure on as well.
Several critical legislative deadlines have come and gone, and we are pleased to report that LB969's attempt to change the fundamental structure of Nebraska's public library boards has not advanced in the Senate yet. Here is what we know as of today, February 26:
- The General Affairs Committee has not "prioritized" this bill by its mid-session deadline. No committee member has done so, nor has any other Senator including Speaker Hadley. Several sources indicate that without prioritization, a bill stands little chance of being considered in this short session. As of yesterday’s adjournment for the week, only 27 days remain in this 104th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session.
- No General Affairs Committee action has been taken on this bill since its public hearing on February 1.
- Nebraskans' have sent a consistent and compelling message to members of the committee and to senators against LB969. Over 200 citizen contacts have been made through the NLA Legislative Advocacy Center. Several important statewide organizations have joined the Nebraska Library Association in opposing LB969. Thanks so much for your grassroots efforts!
- Senators learned that concern with LB969 extends well beyond our state's borders. The General Affairs committee and Senate leadership received a petition signed by over 1,400 individuals from EveryLibrary, a national library advocacy organization. Sari Fedlman, the President of the American Library Association, sent a strongly worded letter to General Affairs Committee and Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley about their concerns. United for Libraries President Steve Laird, who is also President of Nebraska-based ReferenceUSA, wrote a great opinion piece in the Omaha World Herald voicing the concerns of library trustees across the country.
We are grateful that three members of the General Affairs committee have gone on record in opposition to LB969: Sen. Kolterman, Sen. McCollister and Sen. Coash. While things are quiet in the Senate about LB969, we encourage our fellow advocates to maintain watch with us and be ready to act on a moment's notice if necessary.
We continue to stand with NLA. The petition is still open. The members of the General Affairs Committee are keeping one eye on it. You should sign....