State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) met with members of the Illinois Library Association today at the southern Illinois Library Legislative Meet-up at the Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library. Bailey was joined by other elected officials Rep. Terri Bryant, Rep. Dave Severin, Rep. Patrick Windhorst, and representatives for Congressman John Shimkus, State Senator Jason Plummer and State Rep. Blaine Wilhour.
“The programs and services provided by our local libraries are what makes our communities better places to live, raise our children and provide programs for our seniors,” commented Rep. Bailey. “The state needs to be careful not to pass any more unfunded mandates like the recent minimum wage increase that are going to have a big impact on libraries as they reminded us today.”
The regional meetings of librarians, library board members, library directors, and legislators is an opportunity to discuss issues particular to libraries. The issues covered from the federal level included library funding, access to high-speed internet, and the 2020 Census. The issues covered from a state legislative perspective included legislation on library trustee qualifications, ‘net neutrality,’ funding, and opposition to unfunded mandates.
“One of the issues brought up by the library association is the 2020 Census,” added Rep. Bailey. “Rural areas are under-counted at times and with the move to on-line counting this year, the fear is that people without internet access in rural areas will not be fully accounted for in the census. Federal library dollars are tied to population and it is important to have an accurate count.”