Our Continued Struggle

We’ve rounded the first bend – but there’s still a long way to go…..

Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 and Senate Bills 503-527 all passed the Senate committee and also passed on the Senate Floor. Now it’s time to enlighten the House.

There are two avenues of thought about SCR18 making it through the House.

1) The House is Democratic by makeup. Our chances aren’t as good if legislators vote in favor of their party leader – in this case the governor.

2) There are many first term representatives this year. These new members seem to be more likely to vote in favor of what’s best for their constituents. The old rule of following party lines is generally thought of as old school. Common sense and informative decision making are the trend.

After Tom Koselka, Joanne Harvey, and I spoke at the Senate hearing last Wednesday morning and listened to the voting process after lunch, Tom and I spent the rest of the day speaking to the staff of as many of the House members as we could. We gave them fact sheets about the Library of Michigan building. We asked them to please consider and vote favorably for SCR18 and for SB503-527 when these items are debated in the house. All but one said they would pass our information on to their representative. We asked if they had heard from their constituents. Most had heard from two to five people per day. Two had not heard from anyone.

So, here’s the deal. Western Michigan Genealogical Society president Don Bryant reminded us of Representative Joan Bauer’s speech about the importance of receiving 10 e-mails per day. Emails are good. Phone calls are better. Letters are best. Each representative needs to receive at least 10. Ten is golden! We can do this. Send to your own Representative and to the representatives of where you are connected. “I am a member of the genealogical community. My family roots are in your district.”

SCR18:

SCR18 has gone to the House Judiciary Committee, the members are listed on our website listed below. Tell those representatives SCR18 needs to be into and out of committee ASAP. Members of that committee need to hear from us to “expedite a favorable vote and hurry Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 on to the House floor.” Remind your representative that time is of the essence as the Governor’s Executive order takes effect unless the House votes favorably before September 11.

When SCR18 goes to the House Floor, we still need to write our representatives and remind them to vote favorably ASAP.

SB503-527 Watch for updates on the progress of this bill package on the Legislature website or you may link to it from our own http://mimgc.org/LOM.html.

HR140 – A resolution sponsored by Rick Jones. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HR-0140. This sends a clear message urging the Governor to devise a plan to assure that the Library of Michigan collection remains intact and accessible in Lansing. “Last Action: 08/19/2009 – referred HR140 to Committee on Government Operations”. House Resolution 140 addresses our concerns about the collection staying together… but does not mention the building.

So, Bottom Line. We urge you to Keep Writing, Keep Calling, and Keep the Emails flowing.

AND – Please remember the Michigan Library Association Rally on Thursday, September 10th. They supported us and it’s our turn to support them. Plan to attend! The capitol steps – 10AM. Remind your representative that on September 10th to watch for the color RED. We’ll be there in force.

Sue Irvine, Vice President
Michigan Genealogical Council

Sue Irvine, a past president of WMGS is currently serving as Vice-President of the Michigan Genealogical Council in Lansing, Michigan