The Government Affairs Committee Chair is appointed by the President. To ensure continuity in dealing with the Association’s legislative agenda, it is expected that the chair may be reappointed for several terms unless the Board of Directors determines that there is good cause not to reappoint an incumbent chair. In consultation with the chair, the President should make every effort to appoint committee members who represent all types of libraries and a broad range of geographical areas around the state. The President and the Montana State Librarian serve as ex officio members of the committee.
With direction from the President, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors, the Government Affairs Committee is responsible for developing and implementing the Association’s legislative agenda. Guidelines to be followed in developing and implementing the legislative agenda are set forth in, Lobbying, of the Manual of Procedures.
During each legislative session, the committee is responsible for planning and implementing a Montana Library Association Legislative Day event. A budget request to cover expenditures for Legislative Day should be included in the committee’s budget request for the fiscal year in which Legislative Day is to be held.
The committee is responsible for developing and maintaining a statewide network of Association members and other library advocates who are willing to lobby for library concerns at all levels, including a system for ensuring that the network continues from year to year. The committee is also responsible for developing an effective process for communicating with the network about legislative issues and for quickly activating the network as support for libraries is needed.
The committee is also responsible for informing and educating Association members about government affairs, with the aim of highlighting the important connection between political activity (in its broadest sense and at all levels) and the success of library programs. The Board of Directors should encourage and support the committee in this effort, particularly in providing continuing education workshops at annual conferences.
Revised January 2018