WiscNet Issues Message on Governor's Partial Veto: Moving Forward

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, July 01, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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WiscNet sends the following message about the Governor's partial veto of the compromise on WiscNet and the UW's broadband grant that was reached in the legislature: Over the past 22 years WiscNet has grown and evolved in response to our members’ needs. We (both the members and the folks that report to work here every day) have come to expect great, innovative advancements from our cooperative on a regular basis. The 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 that was signed into law by Governor Walker on Sunday will not change this. While it does present new challenges (and opportunities) we are committed to moving forward.The law, though not ideal, does not prevent us from operating and despite some inaccurate reports; WiscNet will be around well into the future. As we naviage this new terrain, we will continue to focus on promoting changes that are necessary to make research, education and public service stronger...

Concealed Carry Bill Allows Libraries, Colleges, Universities to Ban Firearms with Notice

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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SB 93, a bill allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons (with conditions), was approved by both houses of the legislature and awaits Governor Walker's signature. The bill relaxes the prohibition on carrying weapons on school grounds to allow security personnel and others authorized by the school to do so. State and local units of government and their subunits (including libraries) and public and private universities and colleges are allowed to post notice in their buildings prohibiting an individual from entering with a concealed weapon.  Individuals violating the prohibition could be subject to a class B forfeiture (an amount up to $1,000). Signs notifying visitors of the weapons ban must be posted in a prominent place near all entrances to the building or part of the building where the restriction applies. Signs must be posted so that individuals entering the building "can be reasonably expected to see the sign." Officials in the City...

Governor Walker's Partial Veto of WiscNet Language: Analysis of Impact Not Completed

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Monday, June 27, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The Office of Governor Scott Walker released the governor's remarks on the state budget and the governor's partial veto of some measures, including the compromise language on WiscNet. It's possible that the partial veto requires the entire legislature to act, rather than just allowing Joint Finance to postpone the effective date of prohibitions on the UW's telecommunications involvement. It's unclear at this point, but UW officials are analyzing the language. Stay tuned for more information as we learn it.Copied directly from the memo: 19.Joint Committee on Finance Authority to Postpone Telecommunications Services ProhibitionSection 1015xThis section defines telecommunications services and third-party entity and, beginning July 1, 2013, prohibits the University of Wisconsin System from becoming a member, shareholder or partner in any third-party entity or other person that offers, resells, or provides telecommunications services to the general public or to any public or private entity unless the third-party entity or other person...

Your Mom Would Remind You to Say Thank You

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, June 17, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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One of the most important advocacy tasks now before us is to thank members of the legislature for their support of library-related items in the state budget. Even though not everything we wanted is in the budget, libraries are in a better position now than when the governor's budget was introduced earlier this year. There are a number of things to be grateful for:$512,000 in biennial funding was restored for BadgerLink and Newsline for the Blind$183,400 in biennial funding was restored for the Talking Book and Braille LibraryWiscNet will continue for another 2 years, and the UW's federal broadband grant also continues, under a compromise hammered out by UW officials and legislative leadershipPlease thank your legislators today. The Legislative Alert we've created gives you an easy way to do that.When you thank them, make sure to remind legislators that we are pleased with the compromise on WiscNet and we ask that...

WiscNet, Broadband Grant Restored by Assembly

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, June 16, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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According to a report by the WisPolitics Budget Blog, the Assembly passed the 2011-13 budget bill on a straight party line vote, modifying Joint Finance provisions that would have eliminated the UW's broadband grant and crippled WiscNet.A memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau describes the motion containing these and many other provisions amending the budget bill. Items #11 through 13 on pages 28-30 of the memo describe the changes related to WiscNet and the UW's involvement in telecommunications issues.First, item #11 deletes the Joint Finance amendment that would have prohibited the UW from accepting the federal broadband grant altogether. The memo says, "Instead, specify that UW-Extension could not commit any funds to facilities under this project to which such funds were not committed prior to June 15, 2011, unless approved by the Joint Committee on Finance."Item #12 essentially restores WiscNet operations but requires the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct a financial...