2021 Legislative Session
New York State Assembly Directory
The State Budget
The Executive Budget was released on January 19,2021.
The Executive Budget proposes a reduction in funding for the Library Aid Program by 7.5%, from $94.1M to $87M. The proposal is approximately 15% less than the amount required by Education Law.
The proposal also seeks to consolidate education aid for vital services and programs that would lead to decreased reimbursement to our public schools. The $393 million reduction would effect library materials, textbooks, software and hardware, and BOCES services (amongst others).
In addition, the Governor confirmed that 15% of the temporary withholding of aid will be distributed in the final quarter of FY21. This results in a 5% permanent withholding in 2020.
From the Field
As we enter the 2021-2022 Legislative Session, NYLA and its membership have an incredible opportunity before it.
In January 2021, the New York State Capitol welcomed a new cohort of representatives. From seasoned veterans to eager freshman, the views and issues of our elected officials have never been more diverse.
It’s time for libraries to be given the spotlight, and for the State to recognize who they are – community.
Beginning this winter, members will have opportunities to speak up & act on more issues than ever before through the New York Library Association. The Director of Governmental Relations & Advocacy will be working hand-in-hand with the Legislative Committee to determine issues and bills that members can impact through their advocacy.
Libraries continue to evolve and as such, so do their needs. An expanded approach will provide NYLA and its members with opportunities to be far more proactive. Providing increased exposure to State & Federal representatives will result in more chances to speak about the complexities of the library community and advocate for desired changes.
How will the new approach differ from how NYLA has historically approached advocacy?
For the 2021-2022 session, all state legislation will be reviewed and tracked upon introduction and throughout its “life-cycle”. Pertinent bills will be categorized and tracked by NYLA’s Director of Government Relations & Advocacy.
If it is determined that the library community will be significantly impacted by a piece of legislation, the bill and its contents will be provided to the Legislative Committee and a decision will be made as to whether any supporting or opposing documentation will be distributed on NYLA’s behalf and if membership engagement will be sought.
What are the categories that will be tracked?
HR & Internal Operations
Information Privacy & Censorship
Patron (Community) Interaction
Pre-Kindergarten – 12th
Professional Standards & Regulations
Publishing & Content Distribution
Taxes & Exemptions
Advocacy Day 2021
Everything you (hopefully) need for our special day on the 26th.
Updated February 25, 2021
Reduce Petition Requirements for Library Elections
The election of library trustees, and the petition for ballot access for some libraries, poses a health and safety issue for the 2021 cycle due to the pandemic.
This bill would reduce the required amount of signatures needed for petition purposes for 259 and school district library elections in 2021, to 25.
Status: New. Placed on Assembly Calendar 3/1.
Passed Senate Libraries Committee. Passed Senate (63/0).
Streamline & Modernize Library Program Requirements
The distribution of state funding for New York State’s public libraries and library systems is governed by complicated formulas contained in the Education Law. These laws occasionally need to be updated to reflect changes in the way library and information services are now delivered.
These technical amendments would be funding neutral
and replace outdated provisions with new language, to
consolidate and modernize programs and to streamline planning and reporting requirements to improve efficiency.
Status: New. Department of Education Proposal. Pending Number.
Training for Library Trustees
Library trustees play an important role in the success and long-term growth of their libraries. Their actions effect policy, personnel and finances. Currently, the state does not require library trustees to obtain any formal training.
Passage of this bill would ensure that those choosing to serve their libraries as a trustee, have the comprehensive and necessary information to be successful.
Status: Former Priority. Awaiting sponsorship in Assembly.
Media Literacy Curriculum Mandate
All children deserve a comprehensive education.
This proposal would require media literacy as curricula in K-12 and establish a certified media specialist as the preferred instructor.
School Library Facility Modernization
The current regulation that defines a school library facility has not been updated in over twenty years.
This proposal would address the antiquated metrics within NY-CRR 91.1 and insert characteristics associated with a successful, 21st century school library.
Status: New. Possible Amendment.
Increased Access to the Library Construction Program
Small and rural public libraries in dire need of capital improvements are disproportionately disadvantaged by the Public Library Construction Aid Program's requirements. Providing public library systems with greater discretion to aware capital grants will broaden opportunities to address our state's aging public libraries.
Status: New. Possible Amendment.
Access to E-Books
This bill would require that publishers who offer electronic books to the private market, also extend licenses to libraries within the State, without discrimination. Contracts would stipulate “reasonable terms” that would allow libraries across the state, and their patrons, to have equitable access to the content they seek.
NYLA Support Memo (2020)
Status: Former Priority. Confirmed Assembly Sponsor. Awaiting Bill Number.
NYS Library Operating Aid: $123.1M
Increased aid is needed to support the foundational framework of New York State libraries, improving the lives of residents of all ages, abilities and economic status.
Adequate funding is needed to support school, public, and academic libraries and library systems.
NYS Library Construction Aid: $45M
Increased investment is needed to maintain and develop the physical infrastructure of New York State’s libraries, in order to ensure a safe, accessible and sustainable environment for the future.
The New York State Library estimates the deferred maintenance need at over $1.6B.
Over half of New York’s libraries are over 60 years old.
Investments allow libraries to invest in energy-efficiency and support the local construction industry