Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2000Volume 2 Number 3

Legislative Update

General Assembly Passes a Host of New Iniatives

The recently completed 2000 session of the General Assembly resulted in some very good news for libraries and local records managers. Governor Rowland has now signed into law a number of Public Acts which will lead to improvements in the way we deliver library service and preserve local records here in Connecticut.

PA 00-146 An Act Concerning Real Estate Filings And The Preservation Of Historic Documents
Effective July 1, 2000 town and city clerks will begin collecting a $3.00 fee for all documents recorded on land records. The municipality will retain $1.00 for local records management and preservation activities. The remainder of the money will go to the State Library with 70% being used to fund a grant program to help municipalities to enhance and improve the preservation and management of historic documents. The balance of the money is to be retained by the State Library for the preservation and management of historic documents at the State Library, and for the expenses of administering the program.

PA 00-187 An Act Concerning Education Aid
This act contains several new programs affecting libraries.

It establishes:

The Connecticut Digital Library and assigns administration to the State Library in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education. As a component of the Connecticut Education Network, the Digital Library will ensure on-line access by all students and citizens to essential library and information resources by providing access to on-line electronic full-text databases.

The Commission for Educational Technology with broad responsibility for educational technology in the state. The State Librarian and a representative of the Connecticut Library Association will both serve on the Commission.

The Library Partnership Program with priority schools in priority school districts. At least 10% of the grant a school board receives for each such school is to be used for partnership projects with the local library.

In addition:

The Act calls for connecting all institutions of higher education, libraries, public elementary and secondary schools, regional educational service centers and other parties through a state-wide high speed, flexible network that will allow for video, voice and data transmission. This is referred to in the Act as the Connecticut Education Network

Special Act No. 00-13 An Act Making Deficiency Appropriations For The Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2000
This budget bill provides $2million dollars for the digital library and funding to restore State Library and Museum hours. Unfortunately there were also budget reductions from the original budgets for operating expenses, the Connecticut Digital Library and the Cooperative Library Service Units.

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