Legislative Update HB 2719

By , 03/15/2016

Hello Kansas Librarians!

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for all your hard work over the past few days in opposition to House Bill 2719. Many of you wrote and emailed letters, submitted testimony and called your legislators. Your city council members, board members and patrons spoke out also. Thank you to everyone who attended the hearing at the capitol yesterday; from all accounts there were more than 175 people in attendance. In fact, many of you could not even make it into the room and had to stick it out in the hallway! I have heard great things about the testimony in opposition and really appreciate all those who testified.

I want you to know that your voices were definitely heard! Representative Hineman, who serves on the committee, wanted to relay back the great job that we did with our advocacy efforts. He specifically mentioned appreciation for the fact that our letters and emails were not canned; each one was unique. This makes a big impact on legislators and was definitely noticed.

I’m sure the question that many of you have is: Where does the bill go from here? What’s next? There are several possibilities.

First, the committee chair could set a time and date for the committee to “work” the bill. In this scenario, they would try to amend the bill and pass it out of committee to the House. If this were to happen, we would definitely need to reach out to our representatives.

Another possibility is that the chair could choose to not bring this bill up again this session. Since this is an election year, if it does not make it out of committee, this bill would need to be reintroduced next year. This would be the best scenario for us.

There are a few other options for the bill, but the two that I have mentioned are the most likely. We are closely watching this bill and we will definitely get the word out if it should start to move forward!

For those of you who didn’t get to go to the capitol yesterday, Heather Braum has put together a great Storify that pulls together all the social media posts from yesterday. https://storify.com/hbraum/hb2719-hearing If you have the chance to take a look it is definitely worth your time!

Thanks again for all the hard work! You make me proud to be a Kansas librarian!

Eric Gustafson
KLA Governmental Affairs

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