2016 Legislative Session Recap

2016 legislation that may affect ICfL or the Idaho library community includes the bills summarized below. The Idaho Library Association (ILA) was instrumental in building recognition of library staff in education-related bills, and the legislation enables school library staff to be involved in school district reading and literacy improvement plans. The Commission will be involved to the extent we are able in helping school library staff learn what the legislation means for them. Although much depends on how much priority various school administrators give the legislation, it is a good first step.

  • HO 360 Property Taxes – Amends existing law to remove an exception to the rule that any taxing district must be formed or organized by the first day of January in order to make a levy for that calendar year.
    Status: Governor signed 3/1/2016. Effective:01/01/2017

  • HO 451 Education – Repeals and adds to existing law regarding reading instruction and intervention, in support of the legislative goal that every student read at or above grade level by the end of grade 3. ICfL and ILA had representatives on the Governor’s Literacy Committee that developed the
    recommendation that served as the basis for the bill.
    Status: Governor signed 03/16/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • HO 474 Taxing Districts Budgets – Amends existing law to require notice and a public hearing prior to a taxing district budgeting a forgone increase. This bill would require non-school taxing districts that elect to take a foregone property tax increase to hold a hearing in conjunction with their annual budget hearing. Status: Governor signed 03/16/2016. Effective: 01/2016

  • HO 526 Education – Repeals, amends, and adds to existing law to revise the calculation of the Educational Support Program; to provide for a reading assessment; and to establish provisions regarding literacy intervention programs. This is another bill reflecting recommendations of the Governor’s Literacy Committee, which had members from ICfL and ILA. It recognizes the need for appropriate literacy training for paraprofessionals, including library staff, to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to effectively assist students.
    Status: Governor signed 03/23/16. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • HO 606aa,aaS,aaS Urban Renewal – Amends and adds to existing law. A new section, IC, §50-2905A, specifies that if urban renewal funds are expended for a municipal building (such as a public library), the project must be approved in an election by at least 60% of the participating voters. Many people felt that before public libraries are built, the taxpayers should be allowed to vote on it and the interim committee met many times to address this issue. The bill does allow for urban renewal funds to be used for a library building, if approved by the voters.
    Status: Governor signed 04/05/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • S1290 Education – Additional amendments require school districts to establish a plan as to how they will address college and career advising for their students and provides for a minimum reporting framework. While libraries are not mentioned, ICfL is part of a current cross-agency initiative to make college and career advising resources more easily available to students and their parents.
    Status: Governor signed 03/16/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • S1333  Education – Adds to existing law to provide the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant Fund and related provisions. Adds a new section in IC Chapter 56, Title 33 reflecting the recommendations of the Interim Broadband Access Study committee.  Public libraries that are E-rate eligible are eligible to apply for matching grants from the BIIG Fund.  S1429 appropriates $2.7 million to the Fund; the maximum grant per entity is 10% of the total cost of the project.
    Status:  Governor signed 03/24/2016. Effective: 03/24/2016

  • S1334 Education – Repeals, amends and adds to existing law to establish the Education Opportunity Resource Act. This bill establishes a resource for Idaho's education and library system by providing broadband and related services to students. It defines the Education Opportunity Resource Committee, its responsibilities, powers, and membership (which includes the state librarian). It defines the responsibilities of the State Department of Education in distribution of funds, authorization of funding, and technical and other assistance. The outcome was positive in deciding how to replace the Idaho Education Network (IEN) in terms of how to support schools, and it now involves public libraries—a very positive step that we have been working on for several years.
    Status: Governor signed 03/24/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • S1392 Appropriations - Idaho Commission for Libraries – Appropriates $5,525,300 to the Idaho Commission for Libraries for fiscal year 2017; and limits the number of authorized full-time equivalent positions to 37.5.
    Status: Governor signed 03/24/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016

  • S1429 Appropriations – Education Effort – Section 1 appropriates $180,000 from the General Fund to the Commission for Libraries to be expended for trustee and benefit payments from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Funds shall be used for reimbursement of non E-rate portion of public libraries’ Internet service provider charges in accordance with the intent of the Education Opportunity Resource Act, Chapter 56, Title 33, Idaho Code (S1334). Intent language states that any services using appropriations provided for in Section 1 of this act, including Wi-Fi on personal devices, shall be compliant with Section 33-2741, Idaho Code. Any libraries requesting reimbursement must filter the public Wi-Fi. Based on a survey we did in 2014, about half were filtering and half were not. We know that some libraries will choose not to use the disbursement because of the filtering intent language.
    Status: Governor signed 04/04/2016. Effective: 07/01/2016