Washington eBulletin – March 2019

A Look Ahead

Bill to Free PACER Reintroduced in the House 

AALL applauded the introduction of the Electronic Court Records Reform Act (H.R. 1164), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 13, 2019 by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus. This legislation would, for the first time, allow free access to electronic federal court records through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system and improve the efficiency and transparency of the courts.

AALL coordinated a letter signed by 15 other organizations–including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Data Coalition, and the Project on Government Oversight–urging passage of the bill. In addition, the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York and the Law Library Association of Greater New York, along with individual law libraries in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s (D-NY) district, wrote to the House Judiciary Committee urging the Committee to hold a markup of the bill as soon as possible.

Congress Considers Agency Funding Levels for Fiscal Year 2020

While the funding fight for fiscal year (FY) 2019 only just concluded, Congress is already well into considering the FY 2020 requests of federal agencies.

On February 27, the Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Acting Deputy Director Herb Jackson testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch about the GPO’s $117 million request. During the hearing, Jackson announced his upcoming March 31 retirement. On March 7, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will testify about funding for the Library of Congress, including the Law Library of Congress.

AALL carefully tracks the appropriations requests of GPO and the Library of Congress, as well as the the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Archives and Records Administration. These agencies support the lifecycle of government information, including greater permanent public access and preservation.

Act Now

AALL Day on the Hill / Registration Now Open

Join AALL on Capitol Hill to influence information policy issues and harness our collective voice for the profession. You’ll learn about the information policy issues on AALL’s agenda and how to successfully advocate for law libraries and then take our message to Capitol Hill for meetings with your members of Congress and their staff. This year marks 30 years of professional advocacy for AALL; help us celebrate our anniversary by demonstrating the strength and expertise of the Association and our members.


  • Friday, July 12 / 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT
  • Marriott Marquis / Washington, DC
  • Register by Friday, May 17
  • Open to AALL members only – Free
  • 80-person limit

Roundup and Review