Congressional Scorecard on Libraries

The American Library Association’s team from the Washington Office have published their 2015 “ALA Legislative Scorecard” for both the US House and Senate.  Several key pieces of federal legislation about libraries move in 2015, and it’s important to know how the people you are voting to send to Washington view our issues. Some actions like IAL and LSTA were about federal funding for libraries. Others like HR. 2048 and S. 1123 affect our freedoms through our libraries. Know where your Representative and Senators stand by the actions they took – or did not take – about libraries:

Bills and Actions IN the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES in 2015:

IAL – a letter circulated by members of the House asking the Committee on Appropriations to include $25 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill for FY2016

LSTA – a letter circulated by members of the House asking the Committee on Appropriations to include $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill for FY2016 H.R.653 – the

FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2015, which requires records to be released unless there is a foreseeable harm or legal requirement to withhold them, improves public access to released records

H.R.699 – the Email Privacy Act, which revises provisions under which the government may require, pursuant to a warrant, a provider of an electronic communication service to disclose the contents of electronically stored communications

H.R.1477 – the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015, which requires each federal agency with extramural research expenditures of over $100 million to develop a federal research public access policy consistent with and that advances the purposes of the agency and that follows common procedures for the collection and depositing of research papers

S.1177 – the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and provides access to funding for the enhancement of school library services and resources

H.R.2048 – the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which sets additional requirements for the federal government to obtain orders for business records in counterterrorism investigations; and limits the federal government’s ability to search and collect the communications of United States citizens

You can see the 2015 Scorecard for House of Representatives with a full list of votes and support by your member of Congress at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/advleg/federallegislation/legscard/HouseScorecard2015.pdf (opens PDF)

 

Bill and Actions IN the SENATE in 2015:

IAL – a letter circulated by members of the Senate asking the Committee on Appropriations to include $25 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill for FY2016

LSTA – a letter circulated by members of the Senate asking the Committee on Appropriations to include $186.6 million for the Library Services and Technology Act in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill for FY2016

S.312 – the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, or the SKILLS Act, which amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to require the inclusion of effective school library programs in school improvement programs

S.337 – the FOIA Improvement Act of 2015, which requires records to be released unless there is a foreseeable harm or legal requirement to withhold them, improves public access to released records

S.356 – the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act of 2015, which revises provisions under which the government may require, pursuant to a warrant, a provider of an electronic communication service to disclose the contents of electronically stored communications

S.779 – the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015, which requires each federal agency with extramural research expenditures of over $100 million to develop a federal research public access policy consistent with and that advances the purposes of the agency and that follows common procedures for the collection and depositing of research papers

S.1123 – the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which sets additional requirements for the federal government to obtain orders for business records in counterterrorism investigations; and limits the federal government’s ability to search and collect the communications of United States citizens

S.1177 – the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and provides access to funding for the enhancement of school library services and resources

H.R.2048 – the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which sets additional requirements for the federal government to obtain orders for business records in counterterrorism investigations; and limits the federal government’s ability to search and collect the communications of United States citizens

The full 2015 Senate Scorecard listing votes by state by Senator is at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/advleg/federallegislation/legscard/SenateScorecard2015.pdf (opens pdf)

You can view Senate and House Scorecards from the American Library Association dating back to 2008 at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/legscard. Thanks to the American Library Association Washington Office for their leadership in D.C. for libraries, and for compiling this scorecard. Follow their blog, the District Dispatch, for news and alerts affecting federal funding of libraries and other issues like copyright, digital inclusion, and telecom policy.