In the continuing fight over net neutrality, ALA, ACRL, ARL, & COSLA have requested the right to file an amici curiae brief supporting the respondent in the case of United States Telecom Association (USTA) v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and United States of America. The purpose of the brief would be to bolster the FCC’s arguments and positions and to specifically highlight library-related concerns: it will advocate for supporting the future conduct standard (no unreasonable interference or unreasonable disadvantage standard for internet conduct) and will re-emphasize the negative impact of paid prioritization. Additionally, ALA is working to oppose Republican moves to insert de-funding language in appropriations bills that could effectively block the FCC from implementing its net neutrality order. For more information, see the District Dispatch.
Also, ALA is urging the FCC to include internet access in the updated version of the Lifeline program (which was established in 1985 to help make phone service more affordable for low-income consumers). ALA articulated the necessity of broadband internet access for full civic engagement and “the urgency of making sure everyone, regardless of geographic location or economic circumstances, has access to broadband and the internet as well as the ability to use it.” For more information, see the District Dispatch
We’re still waiting on the Illinois state budget. With court orders and executive decisions are keeping some services going, the danger now is that much of the 2016 budget is already being spent; we will likely be facing limited (or non-existent) funds before the end of the next fiscal year. According the ILA: “More specifically, library grant programs are not currently funded, and it is therefore very possible that the state will not have the funds to make any grant payments for fiscal 2016.” Currently there are no negotiations scheduled. The Senate is scheduled to be in session one day next week, but the House will not return until September 24.