Library-Related Legislation

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Governor Inslee signing SB 6362

WLA actively pursues a legislative agenda that presents the interests of its members through a legislative planning committee and a contract government relationship representative who works with the Washington State Legislature. WLA's lobbyist is Carolyn Logue.


Washington Library Association Legislative Wrap-Up 2019

The Washington State Legislature adjourned its 2019 session April 28 by passing a $52.4 billion annual operating budget, with over $800 million in new revenue from new or increased taxes.

Spending for public libraries includes $12.8 million in a newly created Public Library Capital Improvement Program for the current biennium, initially targeting library construction projects in economically distressed counties.

Additional revenue was approved for continued access to Microsoft workforce development products, school library collection budgets, and design work for a new Washington State Library (WSL) and Archives building.

Below are library related measures tracked by the Washington Library Association Legislative Committee. The Legislature stands adjourned until January 2020.

Capital spending for public libraries and State Library

For the first time in Washington State history the House launched a process to provide direct capital funding for public libraries, which is traditionally funded by local bonding. The initial effort secured $12 million for public library building projects and lays the groundwork for a $10 million matching grants program for future bienniums.

Washington State Library & Archives secured $5 million to complete the first phase of planning and development for a new building, which will eventually allow WSL to move out of leased office space and into an environment that can preserve historical documents and materials while welcoming and serving current library users.

Broadband for rural schools and libraries

$21 million is secured towards a 4-year $80 million plan to develop a Statewide Broadband Program. Rural and tribal schools and libraries will be included beneficiaries.

School Libraries

Teacher Librarian allocation models continue to be discussed at the state level, with WLA pushing for eventual adoption of a 1:1 ratio of librarians to schools. Work continues during the legislative hiatus in preparation for the second half of the legislative session reconvening in January 2020.

Intellectual Freedom

WLA successfully addressed House Bill 1635, a proposal to increase internet-filtering requirements of public access computers in public libraries. Although it did not pass and would have conflicted with federal Children’s Internet Protection Act and First Amendment regulations, it remains technically alive through the next legislative session concluding in April 2020.

Microsoft LinkedIn Learning

Full funding was approved for the Washington State Library to continue providing grants to public libraries, to offset the costs of tools like Lynda.com and Microsoft exam certification site licenses. WSL is now monitoring the patron privacy issue associated with LinkedIn Learning.

Repeal of Affirmative Action ban

The state legislature passed a citizen’s imitative to reinstate affirmative action measures.  The new law eliminates the state’s twenty-year ban on Affirmative Action hiring practices and establishes a Governor’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to monitor public sector hiring.


WLA Bill Status & Upcoming Events Report

Click here to view a weekly report of bills being tracked by the Legislative Committee.


WLA Library Legislative Day

On February 6, 2019, librarians, trustees and library supporters will gather in Olympia to visit with legislators and share their stories about how libraries support the educational attainment levels of Washingtonians and contribute to the health of local economies.


Past Legislative Days

2018 Library Legislative Day | 2017 Library Legislative Day | 2016 Library Legislative Day | 2015 Library Legislative Day | 2014 Library Legislative Day | 2013 End of Session Report | 2012 Legislative Session Final Bills

Fact Sheets and Issue Briefs


WLA Legislative Planning Committees

2018 Legislative Committee | 2016 Legislative Planning Committee | 2015 Legislative Planning Committee | 2011 Legislative Session Report | 2010 Legislative Session Report | 2009 Legislative Session Report | 2008 Legislative Session Report | 2007 Legislative Session Report


Resources & Links

Washington State Legislature

Washington State Legislature
Find Your Legislator (includes District maps)
Member Rosters & Information
Bill Information (includes links to the text of Initiatives)
Legislative District Map
Legislative District Look-up by Zip Code
How a Bill Becomes a Law

Federal Library Legislation Links

ALA Washington Office
District Dispatch (ALA Washington Office Blog)
Subscribe to ALA Washington Office Newsline (ALAWON)
Legislative Action Center
Children’s Internet Protection Act from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Washington Office.

Library Advocacy Resources

Legislators and Libraries A Guide for Improving and Maintaining Communications
Building Legislative Support – Winning Library Champions
Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit