Washington E-Bulletin: September 2012

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Welcome to our new look! We hope this new format will be easier to read and share. New sections let us give you an inside look into what’s ahead and where we need your help. For the most up-to-date information as it happens, sign up for our Advocacy Listserv and visit the Washington Blawg. Questions or comments? Email Elizabeth at eholland@aall.org.

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A Look Ahead

Potential Progress in Lame Duck Session
With only eight legislative days scheduled between now and the election, the lame-duck session is bound to be a busy but brief. Following the November election, Congress must take up the trillions of dollars of fiscal issues referred to as the “fiscal cliff”, including the fight to extend Bush-era tax cuts, avert sequestration, and fund the government through next year. But there won’t be much time to do so. In 2010, the lame-duck session totaled only 29 days in the Senate and 19 days in the House.

However, there’s indication that several information policy issues may see some progress before the end of this Congress.  H. Res. 727, the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Resolution of 2012, is currently awaiting consideration by the Committee on House Administration. Once it is reported out, the bill will go to vote on the floor of the House and does not require Senate consideration, providing an easy opportunity for enactment. Meanwhile, H.R. 1974 and S. 1411, the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, has the support necessary to potentially clear both the House and Senate. It’s also likely that the House will consider H.R. 3289, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, when it returns from the August recess next week. While Congress will be juggling its legislative priorities against a ticking clock, we’re hopeful that we may see some of this legislation enacted in the 112th Congress. 

Records Management 
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Act Now

New Year, New Print Resource Use
Here’s a friendly reminder for all academic law librarians kicking off a new school year. As you work to help faculty and students find federal legal materials, please let us know when you use the print! We’ve already collected some great anecdotes with our Print Resource Usage Log, but want to ensure that the project is ongoing and up-to-date. Help us build the case for print by logging each time you use, or help someone to use, a federal legal resource in print. You may also consider posting the log link on your institution’s intranet to encourage more frequent use.

NAPA Survey due This Week
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AALL in the States

UELMA Headed to CA Governor's Desk
California’s Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act bill (UELMA), SB1075, passed the Senate on concurrence last week and is now awaiting Governor Brown’s signature. If signed, the California bill will be the second enactment of UELMA, following Colorado's lead earlier this year. All three of AALL's California chapters have been involved in the push to enact UELMA, writing letters to the Governor.Congratulations to NOCALL, SCALL, and WestPac on this exciting progress!

Library Association Meets in Connecticut
SNELLA Government Relations Chair Jon Stock will attend the Connecticut Library Association GRC Meeting in Middletown on September 6. The first meeting geared toward the state’s 2013 legislative session, it will provide an excellent base for the continuing alliance between SNELLA and their public library colleagues.

Roundup and Review

  • “We swim in a sea of data … and the sea level is rising rapidly.”
  • New GAO privacy study highlights the urgent need to adopt legislation like S. 1732, the Privacy Act Modernization for the Information Age Act of 2011.
  • The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board makes progress … we hope.