ACRL

College & Research Libraries News

WASHINGTON HOTLINE

Carol C. Henderson Deputy Director, AT .A Washington Office

(202) 547-4440; ALA0070

Higher Education Act. The Senate passed its Higher Education Act extension bill, S. 1965, on June 3 by 93-1. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) voted no; Sens. Abdnor, Biden, Bradley, Harkin, Kennedy and Pryor were absent. As you read this, a House-Senate conference will probably be in progress to reconcile differences with HR 3700, passed by the House last December. The conference process is expected to take a good part of the summer.

Both bills would target HEA II-A college library grants to the neediest institutions as recommended by ACRL. Both continue II-B and C training and research and research library programs. Both repeal the II-D national periodical system. Only the House bill replaces it with college library technology and cooperation grants of at least $15,000. The House bill also has much more adequate authorization levels (or ceilings above which funding cannot rise).

Library of Congress. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) offered an amendment June 5 to restore $1 million of the $18.3 million cut from the Library of Congress FY 1986 budget. Passed by voice vote to a supplemental funding bill, HR 4515, the amendment would restore Sunday and evening hours ($340,000), and help with the book budget ($500,000) and cataloging ($160,000). Sen. Byrd said 233 West Virginia libraries and over 20,000 other U.S. libraries subscribe to LC bibliographic products. The amendment was offset by $1 million in funds unneeded for the restoration of the west front of the Capitol. The earlier House-passed HR 4515 had no comparable provision. A House-Senate conference was underway at this writing.

Congressional Documents. One of the near casualties of the Gramm-Rudman- Hollings balanced budget measure was free public access to congressional bills, reports, public laws, and committee documents. The Joint Committee on Printing, in an effort to make required cuts in the congressional printing budget, announced in March that House and Senate document rooms would be closed to the public; purchase of documents from GPO would be the only alternative. That proposal died after ALA and other groups protested that it would make timely participation in the legislative process dependent on the ability to pay.

The compromise solution in effect since June 2 allows the public to obtain one free copy (up to six per visit) of bills, etc., from the Senate Document Room, B-04 Hart Sen. Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510. Additional copies may be purchased from the Senate Document Room for 2-3 cents per page. Committee prints and hearing records are still available from committees but in much reduced supply. They may also be purchased from SuDocs, Congressional Sales Office, Main GPO, Washington, DC 20402. Ask for "How to Purchase Congressional Publications" from either source.

Telecommunicationrates for library connections to nationwide bibliographic databases have continued to increase every few months, causing planning, paperwork, and cost problems. Although the Federal Communications Commission allowed new AT&T private line tariffs to take effect over a year ago, it is conducting a continuing investigation of the tariffs. Senate Communications Subcommittee member Larry Pressler (R-SD) delivered May 2 a letter with a total of 29 Senate signatures to FCC Chairman Mark Fowler on the problems continuing cost increases cause for libraries. On May 28 Chairman Fowler sent a lengthy response, which is being analyzed by Sen. Pressler’s office.

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