Update on DOA BadgerNet Fiber Grant

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The BadgerNet Advisory Council provides the following update on the four main activities related to the BadgerNet fiber grant.  These  activities are:  (1) Federal interest in long-term use of the fiber; (2) BadgerNet contract extension; (3) Environmental Assessment;  (4) Finalizing the list of participating schools and libraries and the project’s budget.  All four of these activities must reach a final resolution before the project can move forward. (1) Federal interest in long-term use of the fiber.  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA, the  grant agency) is understandably concerned that the $23 million in federal funding will have a long-term impact.  The primary way to ensure this is to make certain that the schools and libraries can access the fiber for many years into the future.  Attorneys from DOA, NTIA and the Wisconsin BadgerNet Access Alliance (WBAA) are working now to address this issue.  (The DOA’s request that this condition be...
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DPI Submits Agency Budget Request, Initiatives for Libraries for 2011-13

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, September 16, 2010 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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On September 15, State Superintendent Tony Evers presented DPI's budget request for the next biennium, 2011-13, that includes the following library-related items:-- Public library system funding at the 13% index level of $28,559,600 for 2011-12 and $29,130,800 for 2012-13. This compares to base funding of $16,681,200. Therefore, the requested change in funding is $11,878.400 for the first year of the biennium and 12,449,600 for the second year. If funded only at base level, the index level of state aid would decline to 7.7%. -- BadgerLink funding of $2,946,000 for 2011-12 and $2,960,300 for 2012-13. This compares to base funding of $2,448,900. After subtracting the costs of Newsline for the Blind ($111,100 for each year of the biennium), the requested funding would represented an increase over base of $386,000 in the first year of the biennium and $400,300 in 2012-13. An increase allows for a pilot project with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association to...
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Broadband Grant Lawsuit by Access Wisconsin is Dismissed

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Sunday, November 13, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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On Friday, November 11, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter Anderson dismissed a lawsuit by Access Wisconsin against UW-Extension and others, thus allowing a federal Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) grant project to proceed. The grant will fund broadband internet expansion in four areas of Wisconsin. “This work by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and our many community partners is vital to the future of the Wisconsin economy,” said Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and University of Wisconsin Colleges.  “I hope that now government, the university, private businesses and communities in every corner of the state will be able to work together to assure Wisconsin is connected to the global economy.”Read the entire news release: http://broadband.uwex.edu/blog/2011/11/lawsuit-dismissed/An appeal is likely.Read more about this story at WisBusiness.com....

Library Legislative Day is February 14

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Monday, November 07, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Library Legislative Day is Tuesday, February 14, 2012. "Libraries at the heart of the community" is this year's theme, whether your community is an academic institution, a K-12 school, a municipality, or a museum, law firm or hospital. Legislators need to hear from you about important library issues.Major issues in 2012 include gaining support for:• A bill extending the deadline for changes to the UW System’s research functions and WiscNet• Protection of the Common School Fund for school library use• A bill to enable public library districts• A bill to improve options for recovering overdue library materialsParticipate in Library Legislative Day to learn what is important to public officials and, in the process, position yourself as a resource on library issues. Appointments will be made for you and others from your legislative district. Background materials and briefing provided in advance give you talking points on the issues. Professional lobbyists will provide...

SB 95 Passes Senate

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, October 21, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The State Senate passed SB-95 today (see previous blog post about this issue) without amending it to delete the provision that removes the 25 percent limit on computer purchases with Common School Fund dollars. The vote was 17-16 along straight party lines. Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered an amendment to remove the Common School Fund part of the bill, and she said that she had been contacted by library media specialists asking for the amendment. Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who authored the bill, spoke against the amendment saying that school districts need flexibility with the funds and seemed to believe that digital resources could not be purchased with Common School Fund money. The amendment failed on a voice vote.SB-95 will now be sent to the Assembly.  There already is an Assembly companion bill, AB-130, in the Committee on Education. That committee failed to pass the bill when it voted in...