Spotlight
spending and tax revenue across the board, means Legislators expect a fairly significant biennial revenue shortfall. We will know the exact revenue the Legislature has to work with when the Texas Comptroller releases the biennial revenue estimate on January 9.

The state does have $10 billion in its Rainy Day fund; however, these funds are generally used only for one-time expenditures, not ongoing needs. It is also unclear if Texas' elected leaders will be willing to dip into these funds.

What does all this mean for Texas libraries? Keeping current funding for essential programs will be challenging, and obtaining new funding will be a hard sell.

All state agencies were directed to submit a biennial budget request that reflected a 4% reduction in general revenue (state funds), and one that included a 10% reduction. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), which is still building back services from the very deep cuts in funding from 2011, submitted a $65.8 million total budget request that includes the required 4% reduction. The TSLAC budget also includes five exceptional items:
TLACast Newsletter

Volume 35 No. 7 | December 2016
3355 Bee Cave Road, Suite 401 | Austin, Texas 78746-6763
Phone: 512.328.1518 or 800.580.2852 | Email:
tla@txla.org
Resource Sharing: Stretching Every Dollar
Given the current climate in the Texas Legislature to minimize state spending, and encourage more local control and decision making, resource sharing through programs like TexShare and TexQuest make sense. If each individual library had to negotiate pricing on the standard resource packages that we all buy, we'd be wasting tax dollars that can be spent elsewhere. With the state leveraging its buying power and negotiating the deal for all of us, it's a win for Texas! Libraries can stretch their budgets further and residents have access to high quality resources.
• Item #1: $1.6 million for data, computer and physical security
• Item #2: $8.4 million for online resources in STEM areas through TexShare and TexQuest
• Item #3: $500,000 for salary adjustments necessary to recruit and retain personnel
• Item #4: $241,800 to hire two information analysts
• Item #5: $1 million to encourage library participation in E-Rate program
The Texas Library Association (TLA) strongly supports TSLAC's budget request, including provisions for expansion of affordable e-resources, broadband access for Texas communities, computer security, staff pay equity, and state and local record programs support.

TLA's priority for the session is to advocate for the TSLAC budget request and inclusion of exceptional items #2 and #5.

We will need every voice we can muster to help share the message of how critically important all libraries are to the state of Texas. TSLAC and Texas libraries are exceptional stewards of the public funds they receive, leveraging every dollar to support family literacy, educational opportunities, and workforce development. Supporting Texas libraries makes great fiscal sense! www.txla.org/advocate
TLA Legislative Committee and TASL Launch Campaign to Include Libraries in ESSA Implementation
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind, is the latest federal education initiative. Each state was directed to develop an implementation plan by the summer of 2017. This new law allows the state to include libraries and librarians in funding and measurement of effective schools. That's a win for local education agencies, libraries, and students!

To ensure the best possible outcome for Texas school libraries, TLA President Walter Betts appointed a joint task force of TASL and Legislative Committee members co-chaired by Jennifer LaBoon and Jennifer Rike. A Texas position paper crafted by a group of school library leaders led by Robin Stout with consultation from John Chratska of Every Library provided the starting point for talking points and messaging that were shared with members and with stakeholder groups such as the Texas PTA. For more information on ESSA, visit the TASL Advocacy Resources page.

In November, the Texas Education Agency release a public input survey and the talking points were provided to librarians to include in their responses. Thank you to everyone who shared and completed the survey! TEA will continue to solicit public comment during different stages of the development of the state plan. Also in November, AASL hosted an ESSA Workshop in Austin.

Now is the time to speak to your administrators and school districts about the value of libraries in educating well rounded, future ready students. Learn more on the TASL Advocacy page.
85th Legislative Session Convenes January 10
Members of the Texas Legislature returning to
Austin for the 85th Legislative Session have just 140 days to address a myriad of complex and critical issues facing the State of Texas. From child protective services, foster care, Medicaid, transportation, and infrastructure; to border security, public education funding, and the cost of higher education, the demands on state resources continue to increase.

At the same time, the outlook for state revenues is rather gloomy. Oil and gas revenue is down about $1 billion, and that combined with reduced consumer