January is the time when state senators and assembly representatives routinely hold listening sessions in their district. These meetings are particularly important in state budget producing years (which this is) and especially to members of the powerful Joint Finance Committee.
See below for listening sessions scheduled at WVLS libraries and in WVLS communities on Monday January 23 and Wednesday January 25.
Kris Adams Wendt will supply talking points and background information on state budget library priorities from WLA's Legislative Committee to those attending.
The WLA Budget Team has been meeting with selected Joint Finance Committee members at the Capitol (including 35th District Rep. Mary Felkowski) with very cordial results as recently as January 3 and are drafting materials for background briefing prior to local listening sessions and Library Legislative Day (February 21).
Senator Tom Tiffany and Representatives Mary Felzkowski (formerly Czaja who remarried on New Year's Eve!) and Rob Swearingen have scheduled Legislative Listening Sessions in WVLS communities and member libraries on January 23 and 25.
Monday, January 23
Sen. Tiffany and Rep. Swearingen will be in Oneida and Vilas Counties on Monday, January 23, at which we also expect to talk about state library budget requests, however, the listening session at Tomahawk Public Library on Wednesday January 25 is the only session that has a separate time slot for library budget discussion.
- 9:30 AM – Minocqua Public Library
- Noon – Olson Memorial Library temporary location, Eagle River
- 3 PM – Nicolet College Northwoods Center Room 207, Rhinelander
Wednesday, January 25 @ Tomahawk Public Library
Expected Guests: Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Mary (Czaja) Felzkowski who are members of Joint Finance Committee, and Representative Rob Swearingen
- Time: 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. - discussion of library system funding, library concerns, with library staff and supporters.
- Library supporters should arrive no later than 8 AM for a quick briefing.
- WLA Government Relations Advisor Steve Conway plans to join us as he did two years ago.
- Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. - open discussion to the public on any legislative issue.
This format is similar to the session held two years ago. It is a testament to the excellent relationship building accomplished by Mary Dunn, Stacy Stevens and Cynthia Taylor that library supporters have been issued another special invitation to a dedicated session just for us by two members of Joint Finance in a budget year! Please share this information with your trustees.
If you can attend on January 25, please let Mary Dunn and Kris Adams Wendt know ASAP, as Sen. Tiffany’s office is asking for a list of potential attendees no later than the previous week. Mary Dunn firstname.lastname@example.org Kris Adams Wendt email@example.com
SPECIAL NOTE TO DIRECTORS IN CLARK, FOREST, MARATHON and TAYLOR COUNTIES: See the 2017 contact list for WVLS area legislators. You are encouraged to make friendly calls to the offices of Senators Moulton and Petrowski, and Representatives Bernier, Kulp, Spiros, Edming, and Mursau to inquire of the staff member who answers when they next plan to hold listening sessions in your area.
Offer your library as a meeting place and say you look forward to working with them on library budget issues during the coming year. It's that easy. Then let Kris Adams Wendt know about any additional scheduled listening sessions 715-261-7255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Kris Adams Wendt