Last week a spending bill was passed by Congress and the Senate and then signed into law by President Obama. Avoiding a government shutdown, the bill is a mixed bag for libraries. Funding for the Library Services and Technology Act has been increased from FY15 to FY16, as well as grants to states, funding for Native American Library Services, National Leadership Grants for Libraries, funding for school libraries, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Also, in positive privacy news, the bill contained a section reaffirming that “federal financial services agencies, like the Securities and Exchange Commission, must get a judicially approved search warrant based on probable cause in order to compel the release of the content of any individual’s electronic communications of any kind.”
However, in upsetting news, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (which is “hostile to personal privacy in many fundamental ways) was included in the bill. Privacy and information security groups have lobbied against various forms of CISA for years.
For more information, see the District Dispatch.
The governor met with state government leaders most recently on last Thursday (December 17th) to discuss the budget, at a meeting he later described as “productive.” Rauner has been quoted as saying that the next meeting will take place during the first week of January. The state senate and house meet again on January 13, 2016.