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Advocacy

The WEMTA Legislative Committee is charged to maintain a communications network through which membership can respond to legislative and governmental issues of importance to the Association.

Current Co-Chairs are Annette Smith and Sandra Heiden Please click on their names to send them an email with any questions or concerns.

Committee Members are Robert Smiley, Mike Slowinski, Jen Zurawaski


 

WEMTA Legislative Agenda

2012-2014 WEMTA Legislative Agenda
For each biennium, WEMTA develops a list of important legislative issues on which to focus. Here is our 2012-2014 slate.

Advocacy: Be Informed - Be Heard

As educators, we believe in the importance of free and equitable access to information in a democratic society and in the importance of information literacy as a national bedrock principle. In today's schools, technology has greatly impacted instruction.  It is essential to have a highly qualified professional to have an effective information and technology programs to prepare students for work and college.  

In an increasingly complex world, with strong competition for state and national funding, the library community must speak - and be heard.

At the national level we are keeping watch on important issues such as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and federal funding for  programs in support of school libraries and educational technology. Members are encouraged to contact federal legislators through CapWiz and to join ISTE Advocacy Network to stay apprised of national legislative issues.

As an organization, WEMTA works statewide, and nationally for policies and funding in support of

  • Public School Libraries
  • Public Education
  • Public Libraries
  • Educational Technology

Latest News on Government Issues

The Wheeler Report

The responsibilities of the Legislative Advocacy Committee are to:

  • Maintain a communications network through which members can respond to legislative and other governmental issues of importance to the Association.

  • Develop a working relationship with the Legislative Consultant and work together on legislative strategies for the Association and articles and reports for the Dispatch and listserv.

  • In collaboration with the Legislative Consultant, develop annual goals, a legislative advocacy agenda and a plan of action for accomplishing such and submit it to the Board for approval at its fall meeting.

  • Make recommendations to the Board of Directors for initiating legislative action of importance to the profession and work to implement such action.

  • Recommend specific action regarding legislative issues to the members on approval of the Board and/or the President.

  • Work cooperatively with ALA/AASL, ISTE, DPI, ECB, WLA and other organizations with mutual interests in sharing information, publicizing issues, and action in support or opposition of the same.

  • Mobilize members regarding critical issues via the most appropriate and effective communications tool.

  • Promote legislative awareness and education efforts through conference programs and coalition building efforts, e.g. Legislative Retreat.

  • Know and communicate with legislators and Department of Public Instruction officials and keep aware of current issues through the ALA Washington Newsletter, DPI newsletters, professional publications, etc.

  • Plan, promote and participate with WLA in the annual Library Legislative Day.

  • Promote and participate in the national legislative activities of our affiliated Associations.

State Updates

2013-15 State Budget

Governor Walker will unveil his 2013-15 state budget on February 20 at 7 p.m. during a
joint session of the legislature.
 
State agencies submitted budget requests to the State Budget Office on September
17. The Governor can choose whether or not to include state agency proposals in his
budget.
 
After its introduction on February 20, the budget bill will be referred to the Joint
Committee on Finance, which will hear testimony from state agency heads on the
budget proposals and then hold public hearings around the state. The Joint Committee
on Finance will then vote on the proposals within the budget, making any changes they
find necessary, and send the bill to both houses of the legislature for their approval.
 
The budget bill should be signed into law by June 30, the last day of the state fiscal
year.
 
Governor Walker’s 2013-14 Priorities
 
Governor Walker, who faces re-election in 2014, says his top priorities are: creating
jobs, transforming education, developing our workforce, creating infrastructure and
reforming government.
 
Educational initiatives that Governor Walker would like to see during the 2013-14
session include: freezing or capping UW tuition, tying education funding to performance,
ending the Milwaukee Public School residency requirement and expanding the school
voucher system.
 
2013-14 Legislative Committees of Interest
 
Assembly Colleges and Universities
Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), Chair
Rep. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Vice-Chair
Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson)
Rep. Tom Weatherston (R-Racine)
Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville)
Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)
Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa)
Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh)
Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland)
Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse)
Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton)
Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire)
Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison)
 
Senate Education
Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Chair
Sen. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee), Vice-Chair
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)
Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa)
Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac)
Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine)
Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville)
Sen. Nikiya Harris (D-Milwaukee)
Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma)
 

WEMTA Public Policy Advisor

Michael H Blumenfeld

 

Wisconsin Take Action

 

Contact your Legislator

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

Take Action

http://capwiz.com/nea/wi/state/main/?state=WI#0

Take Action for School Libraries and Student Learning

http://act4sl.wikispaces.com/

Fair Funding for Wisconsin Students

http://fairfundingforourfuture.org/

Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools

http://www.excellentschools.org/

Penny For Kids

http://www.apennyforkids.org/

 

Helpful Websites
Legislature
 
Legislative Fiscal Bureau: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/
 
Legislative Reference Bureau: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/LRB/
 
Legislative Council: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lc/
 
 
OTHER GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
 
 
State of Wisconsin: http://www.wisconsin.gov/
 
Department of Public Instruction: http://www.dpi.wi.gov/
 
Governor Walker: http://walker.wi.gov/
 
Federal Government: http://www.usa.gov/
 
 
U.S. House of Representatives:  http://www.house.gov/
 
Library of Congress:  http://thomas.loc.gov/
 
Educational Communications Board: http://www.ecb.org/
 
University of Wisconsin System: http://www.wisconsin.edu/
 
NEWS SOURCES THAT FOCUS ON WISCONSIN GOVERNMENT
 
 
Wisconsin Eye: http://www.wiseye.org/