Washington eBulletin - April 2017

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Vol. 2017 Issue 04

A Look Ahead


Will Congress Risk a Government Shutdown?

Congress must act before the end of the month or risk a government shutdown when Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funding runs out on April 28, 2017. Democrats have said they won't approve the funding bill if it includes money for a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico or provisions to defund Planned Parenthood.

Assuming Congress does approve a Continuing Resolution for FY 2017, the Appropriations Committees will be able to focus more fully on funding for Fiscal Year 2018. AALL opposes the President's Budget Blueprint, which proposes eliminating funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Legal Services Corporation. AALL is instead urging Congress to approve the budget requests of these agencies. Learn more about AALL's position in our new advocacy one-pagers.

As the FY 2018 appropriations process moves forward, we will also be advocating for full funding for the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress. You can help support funding for these agencies by participating in our upcoming Virtual Lobby Day on April 26, when AALL members will raise their voices in support of the public policy issues that affect law libraries. Mark your calendars, and see "Act Now" below to learn how you can get involved. 

House Judiciary Committee Moves Forward with Copyright "Reform"

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a bill to significantly change the way the Register of Copyrights is selected. H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. AALL opposes the bill because we believe it is unnecessary and would create management conflicts within the Library of Congress. 

Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill, as amended, on March 29, 2017 and it's likely to receive floor consideration soon. The amendment adopted by the Committee, offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.), would create a panel of the Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, House and Senate majority and minority leaders, and the Librarian of Congress that would recommend three individuals to the President for consideration for the Register position. Learn more about AALL's views on Copyright Office modernization efforts in our advocacy one-pager.

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a bill to significantly change the way the Register of Copyrights is selected. H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. AALL opposes the bill because we believe it is unnecessary and would create management conflicts within the Library of Congress. 

Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill, as amended, on March 29, 2017 and it's likely to receive floor consideration soon. The amendment adopted by the Committee, offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.), would create a panel of the Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, House and Senate majority and minority leaders, and the Librarian of Congress that would recommend three individuals to the President for consideration for the Register position. Learn more about AALL's views on Copyright Office modernization efforts in our advocacy one-pager.

Act Now

Register for AALL's Online Advocacy Training & Virtual Lobby Day

Register to attend AALL's online advocacy training on April 20, 2017, where you'll learn the most effective ways to influence your members of Congress and cut through the noise on Capitol Hill. You will also hear about AALL's top policy priorities, including funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Legal Services Corporation, copyright reform, and email privacy.

Then, mark your calendars for AALL's Virtual Lobby Day on April 26, where you can help raise the profile of law libraries and AALL's important policy issues by sending coordinated messages to Capitol Hill through our Legislative Action Center and social media. If you fill out our Lobby Day survey before April 17, we'll send you personalized tips and information to help maximize your influence. 

AALL in the States

UELMA Success

UELMA passed the Maryland and West Virginia legislatures and is awaiting signature by the governors of those states. A big thank you goes to our advocates, including Steve Anderson, Joan Bellistri, Mary Jo Lazun, Chi Song, and Stacy Etheredge, who helped shepherd the bill through the legislative process. We also thank the Uniform Law Commissioners in Maryland and West Virginia for their leadership, and to the Uniform Law Commission staff for their assistance. 

Roundup and Review